Barbie like you’ve never seen her before

Let’s rewind to our childhood.

As kids, we would play with our toys all the time. With Barbie, we would play dress ups and play shops. We would talk to her and change our voices to make it as if Barbie was actually talking back to us.

Now with the new phenomenon of the Internet of Things, she actually can!

This new Barbie doll names ‘Hello Barbie’  that incorporates hearing sensors to be able to make sense of the verbal cues within the environment. From there, it will be able to aggregate data about the agent–being the young girl or boy using the Barbie. This aggregation of data allows for the Barbie doll to remember different aspects about the lives of its agent and store it in a cloud. From there the Barbie gathers data from the internet in order to respond appropriately.  This responding mechanism is a characteristic of the Internet of Things where devices that aren’t naturally connected to the internet are able to carry out actions of actuation. This means that they can make informed choices based on the information they have stored and the information they can retrieve from the internet.


“Hello Barbie doll listens and remembers the user’s likes and dislikes, giving everyone their own unique experience,” says Mattel.

Move aside Barbie, there’s a new cool girl and power couple in town. Barbie 2.0 and the internet are the hottest couple in school.

But with the increase of human to machine and machine to machine interaction and two way dialogue, what will this mean for human to human interaction in the years to come?

Will human interaction begin to dwindle as we replace real friends with AI friends with fake emotion and empathy?

Also, there is the threat of privacy and the identity curation of children. With Hello Barbie’s ability to store recordings of the child’s voice and the child’s interests, how will the data be protected?


4 thoughts on “Barbie like you’ve never seen her before”

  1. Wow I loved this post so engaging! you have obviously done heaps of research on the IoT topic- I didn’t even know this toy existed. The fact that children will be able to have real and interactive conversations with their toys (which we could only have toys with a few set phrases built inside them… jealousss) is really interesting and opens up a whole new door of capabilities for these kinds of toys- With the ability to talk, play games and even educate. Although some may be sceptical of their children talking to toys over their children talking to human beings- It’s sort of just reminds me of how we talk to siri on our phones to get answers, so not that creepy and isolating. Disney has been looking into IoT toys as well, and this website highlights the research they have been doing in to these type of toys, really interesting stuff- https://www.disneyresearch.com/project/calipso-internet-of-things/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so cool! I wish I had this as a kid, I was a huge Barbie fan, lol. I’m curious as to what your answer is to your question “Will human interaction begin to dwindle as we replace real friends with AI friends with fake emotion and empathy?” 🙂


  3. I can see how people can be slightly worried about human interactions with a Barbie. I think this is a huge stepping stone towards a fully interact-able toy (regardless whether its a Barbie or something else) I can see the company using this information to build an AI that responds to a phrase. Yes there are some toys that already do that I suppose the best way is implementing a text-to-speech software that can also save what the child is saying into a text format instead of saving the child’s voice that way the privacy of the child is compromised.

    The children of the future are going to be so lucky, just imagine a Doll having a normal conversation with the child.


  4. Howdy Parter, great post! Relating it to a toy that we’ve all seen and know was an excellent decision. I had no idea that they were releasing toys like this to kids! Almost a bit invasive. Anyway, fantastic work, you put heaps of effort into the post and it shows.Your use of memes was excellent and helped convey your message. Nice.


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