The Hello Barbie Line by Mattel is a great attempt to venture in the tech field. The first doll by Mattel was introduced way back in 1959, since then it has been the nucleus cultural controversy. But it seems like the Barbie doll keeps adapting to the changing times. The new addition to the product line is the Hello Barbie Hologram which is designed to sit on a kid’s nightstand or around the house to extend playtime.
The doll was introduced at the New York City Toy Fair last month. The idea behind this toy is that kids want to know what Barbie is up to when she isn’t actively being played with.
You Can Talk To Her.
Hello Barbie Hologram doesn’t really do much other than looking pretty and accepting a few voice commands. Kids can talk to Barbie and ask her to set a reminder, like remind me tomorrow that it’s Mike’s birthday, or ask her to have a dance party, or change outfits or her complete appearance. The box also acts as a nightlight. But like Alexa, Barbie can’t conduct open web searches. Basically, Barbie is just a prisoner trapped in a box who dances for kids on demand.
Giving Voice Commands.
Hello Barbie Hologram is a small box that contains an animated projection of Barbie that responds to the voice commands you give. The device combines motion-capture animation with Amazon Echo-style voice interactions.
Make Her Do Things.
The hologram has a wake phrase “Hello Barbie” that brings the Barbie to life. You can ask Barbie to alter her appearance, switch outfits, set an alarm, act as a nightlight. You can choreograph her dance routines, you can add things to your calendar, ask Barbie the weather when it’s raining, and do holographic cats and dogs fall from the sky.
Barbie & Tech.
The tech aspect of Barbie is pretty simple. A screen in the top of the box projects an image of Barbie onto a translucent piece, which reflects it so she appears to float in mid-air. The toy uses a 2-D projection of a 3-D animation. This puts a to limit to what you see. You can’t see Barbie in three dimensions from the side, and if you peer through the box from the back, you don’t see her at all.
Raising Privacy Concerns.
The Hologram has a web-connected mic that raises the same privacy concerns as the Amazon Echo. But Mattel claims that, unlike the Echo and Google Home, Barbie doesn’t save recordings to its servers. The holo-box uses 256-bit encryption to directly send voice queries to the cloud in a system designed to meet Federal Trade Commission’s requirements stated in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. This means that they will let parents or guardians see all the data the system collects. Mattel expects official COPPA certification by the time the toy ships in late summer.
No Final Price.
Hello Barbie Hologram is a fun gadget that at least looks pretty, and that will blow kids’ minds. Hello Barbie Hologram will be available in the fall with pricing still to be determined, although Mattel aims to have it cost less than $300.