The age of smart toys

First, we had Furbies and Tamagotchi, the original interactive toys. Then along came AI Siri and Cortana who connect to the internet, along with Chatbots. And now, there are smart toys. their self awareness varies with facial expressions, response to external stimulus, communication and self-learning abilities. Emotional and Social intelligence are now seen as cognition, and not just academic factors. Smart toys are important for children and adults with learning disabilities for them to develop as individuals.

1.CogniToys

like the original Furby, the CogniToy is a toy who interacts with children. However, it continues to learn and adapt its personality using Wi-Fi. It personalises its interactions and remembers what the child likes when communicating with its owner. Whilst the little dinosaur’s CogniToys could be the next generation of virtual pets.

2. JC Toys Newborn Dolls

Similar to Baby Born, this doll is to educate  users on how to interact with babies as though they were real newborns. You can customise your doll’s hair, eye colour, gender and skin colour by pre-ordering on the net. They can create facial expressions, come with a hospital tag, and have anatomically accurate porcelain bodies.

3.Cozmo

Cozmo has a mind and personality all its own, and is not unlike Wall-E. It gets excited when it sees a familiar person, and has pride when it successfully completes a task.  Cozmo is charming, playful, fun and mischievous. It recognises people, makes its own facial expressions, and can tell when it’s about to fall off a table. Cozmo uses tech, such as computer vision, animatronics, motors, and A.I. software. It has three ARM-based microprocessors running on Android and iOS.It’s definite;y the future of toys for kids.

4. TeCo

TeCo is an artificially intelligent bear designed to help children with Autism. It mimics facial expression to increase emotional intelligence and awareness. Researchers are able to record the number of times the child makes eye contact with toy using a camera lens in its eyes. The data is interpreted by a psychologist or neurologist after a session, and the more eye contact made, the better.

5. Honeybot

Honeybot is a toy designed to be used with parents as well as kids. It can signal messages to the parent’s smartphone, usually alerts, to catch their child’s attention. Using Augmented Reality, Honeybot can simulate life scenes, and there will be a smartphone app as well as desktop application. Honeybot can stream multimedia messages, play cognitive games to encourage common sense and even tell stories.

6. POVI

POVI is a toy designed to help children with their EQ. Aimed at kids aged 3-8, POVI is meant to hone skills such as confidence and emotional toughness. POVI is designed to develop social skills based on their listening, conversation, ability to talk about certain topics and overall engagement levels. It’s bee crowdsourced by teachers, psychologists and parents, and has an iOS app. Parents can monitor and analyse their child’s responses in various situations and improve the toy over time.

The technological advancement making AI possible: EmoShape

EmoShape is enhancing intelligence, emotions and empathy in artificially intelligent machines. It will be used in self driving cars, smart toys, IoT and virtual reality platforms. It’s an emotional microprocessing unit, and eight emotions including anger, fear, joy, sadness, disgust, anticipation and trust. Features such as human machine interaction, emotion speech synthesis, emotional awareness, machine emotional intimacy, AI’s personalities, machine learning, affective computing, medicine, advertising, and gaming.

Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives, and these educational toys seem like a great solution for enhancing kids’s learning, development and wellbeing. Some may be concerned about the privacy levels we might have, but ultimately these toys could do just as good a job as humans.

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