Mattel’s popular Barbie doll will be getting a 21st century makeover, with the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity that will turn her into a Siri-like Internet connected playmate.
Set to hit stores this fall, Hello Barbie will be capable of two-way conversations, playing games, and telling stories, but perhaps more importantly the doll will learn from what its owner has talked about and then use that personalized understanding to pick what topics to bring up later on.
So, if riding horses come up regularly in conversation, Hello Barbie might share facts about horses in later discussions.
The toy uses a microphone and speaker hidden inside Barbie, but the conversation processing is all handled in the cloud. That side of things will be handled by ToyTalk, a company that in the past has specialized in iPad games that interact in real-time with children.
Barbie’s batteries, located in her impossibly long legs, will last for about an hour of playtime.
As Hello Barbie is cloud-based, she’ll get smarter over time, and will even be able to receive new firmware updates. Hopefully this will enable her to get over that whole “Math class is tough!” thing from awhile back.
Mattel says we can expect Hello Barbie to hit store shelves this fall, and she’ll be priced at $74.99.