TIME Toys

New Talking Barbie Can Have 2-Way Conversations With Kids

Barbie
Mark Lennihan—AP Hello Barbie is displayed at the Mattel showroom at the North American International Toy Fair in New York City on Feb. 14, 2015.

Big Sister is listening

Imaginary conversations with dolls are so 20th century. A new Internet-connected Barbie arriving on store shelves this fall will let kids have two-way conversations with the doll.

The new Hello Barbie, showed off at the New York Toy Fair on Saturday, will actually be able to listen to kids’ words and change its own language to adapt to their preferences, BBC reports. Tell Barbie you like dancing, and she’ll mention dancing in a later conversation, for example. A speech-recognition company called ToyTalk is programming Barbie’s speaking and listening capabilities.

The necklace on the doll will feature both the microphone and the speaker that help enable the conversations. Hello Barbie will retail for $74.99 when it launches, likely in time for the holiday season. The doll requires a Wi-Fi connection to talk, though kids can of course continue to use Barbie the old-fashioned way when the Internet’s down.

[BBC]

 

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