Smart Dino Toy is powered by a super computer!!
If Yoda and Barney had a baby, it might be CogniToy. The cute but immobile talking dinosaur toy from Element Path, unveiled at the NY Toy Fair on Monday, is the first children’s toy to tap into IBM’s powerful Watson cognitive computing system.
The video for the Kickstarter project, which launches today, depicts a small, plastic dinosaur toy with a large button on its belly. The toy uses natural language processing and Elemental’s proprietary voice recognition software, Friendgine, to converse with children in a voice that is one-half Star Wars pint-sized sensei and one half large purple and perpetually-cheerful extinct animal.
CogniToy Dino is actually part of a planned line of cognitive toys. The idea behind them is pretty simple: the child speaks, and CogniToy, which is connected to the Internet (and IBM’s Watson cognitive cloud) listens and then responds. According to Elemental Path, the toy can learn a child’s personality traits and preferences, like favorite color, and then deliver age-appropriate content for their interactions.
In the video, children are shown asking CogniToy questions and it responds, to the children’s delight, without hesitation. The toy dinosaur will be able to tell jokes and quiz the kids on simple math. It should also be able to change and grow – intellectually, that is — over time.
The company also plans on providing parents with a cloud-based console, on their smart devices, where they can track their child’s progress with the chatty little dinosaur. It will even show them the questions children asked CogniToy.
In case you think the idea of a toy that talks to your child and stores everything it learns in the cloud sounds creepy, Elemental Path and IBM said that all the data that the system analyzes is anonymized “and never shared without parental consent.”
Elemental Path hopes to raise $50,000 with its Kickstarter campaign and deliver CogniToys ($89 for early birds) by November. It’s an ambitious plan for a toy idea that could be considered revolutionary, but might not suit everyone’s tastes.