Google Receives Patent for Creepy Toy
San Diego – Recently there has been a proliferation of devices that are connected to the Internet and of apps that remotely control those devices. For example, your thermostat can be controlled via a smart phone from your couch or even when you are away from home. These newest gadgets are referred to as “Internet of Things” (IoT).
The idea behind the Internet of Things is that pretty much anything can transfer data over an Internet connection without the use of a computer or physically touching the device.
Amazon’s Echo is an example of a popular IoT. Through the Echo device, one is able to control a number of other devices by using voice commands. It is also able to play music, answer questions and provide information such as the weather.
A newly surfaced patent awarded to Google on a IoT device is currently portrayed as a bunny rabbit or a teddy bear. The media-dubbed “creepy” teddy bear can interact with people based on their actions and expressions, and can also be used to remotely control other devices such as changing the channel on the TV.
The patent states that the “device may interpret the voice command and map it to a media device command” and would then signal a command to that device- such as turning it on or off. In this case, one would say a voice command to get the teddy’s attention. The teddy, complete with eyes that move and facial expresssions, would then look in the direction of the voice command and be able to receive another command to control a specific device.
The toy is also connected to the internet, and can express different emotions as well as record, speak, and focus its attention on different key phrases that trigger a reaction.
Some criticisms for the teddy bear include privacy concerns and that children should not be exposed to it. Critics claim that children should not be remotely filmed or audio recorded when playing with the bear. Perhaps it would be better received by critics if Google were to change the receiver device to something less appealing to children.
Google has not yet released the teddy bear, and there has been no confirmation that they ever will. A spokesperson for Google stated that just because a patent is awarded, that does not mean the idea will come to life.
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