Is WiFi Barbie Really A Good Idea For Parents And Their Children?
Remembering back to my childhood I can remember endless happy hours of playing with my barbies. One year for Christmas, I thought I struck gold when Santa left a Barbie under the tree that could move its arms when you pushed a button on her back. The Barbie has come a long way since the 80's in fact, she's now going digital.
Mattel has recently announced the new Barbie called 'Hello Barbie'. The smart doll is WiFi-enabled and picks up on audio cues in a fashion similar to Apple’s Siri, allowing for hundreds of different verbal responses.
A video filmed at this year’s New York Toy Fair shows Hello Barbie, Mattel’s newest doll, in action.
I have to admit that when I first saw the video for Mattel's latest creation I thought it was pretty cool but then I started thinking and the awwwww quickly turned to anxiety. Here are some points I think parents should consider before buying one for their child.
- The thought of the doll uploading a child's audio to 'The Cloud' should give anyone pause. Do people really want there child's private playtime with their doll made potentially public?
- Mattel has also said that they would e-mail parents if the child says anything disturbing. What if your child is mad at you for something? Who is to say that your child won't exaggerate a punishment? What's to say the company won't call Child Services over something they feel is disturbing?
- One other question that comes to mind is that we live in a world that is constantly trying to fight off hackers. What if your child's account is hacked? There are all sorts of bad things that can come from that. Pedophiles and false reports to 'Mattel's Cloud' comes to mind. It's already hard enough to protect your child in this digital age.