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Striking Up a Convo with Barbie
By: Jessica Cherok
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Every child who dreamed of having a real conversation with their favorite Barbie doll is about to get their wish. The doll’s maker, Mattel, is teaming up with ToyTalk to bring conversations with Barbie to life. And it’s all thanks to the Internet.

According to Mattel, the biggest request they have received over the years is for Barbie to be able to talk. Until now, however, the conversation was only one-way, with canned responses.

"The number one request we hear from girls around the world is that they want to have a conversation with Barbie. Now, for the first time ever, Barbie can have a two-way conversation," said a spokeswoman for Mattel.

This new Barbie, named Hello Barbie, uses speech recognition to create actual two-way interactions with children. Hello Barbie will also be able to tell stories, jokes, and play games. Barbie connects directly to a WiFi connection, which allows for its interactivity.

While no release date has been officially announced, the Hello Barbie is likely to launch near Christmas.

Hello Barbie is the latest in revamped toys getting technical overhauls. Many toys from years past are being infused with technology to make the playtime experience more high-tech.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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