My Friend Cayla
The first ever Internet connected doll, known as Cayla, is a technological marvel. ‘My Friend Cayla’ helps children learn through Google Translate and speech recognition software. The wifi doll is 18 inches tall, wears a simple T-shirt and has blonde hair. She speaks through a speaker found in her stomach. She listens to her child friends with a listening device found on her necklace. Google doll Cayla is predicted to be one of the top Christmas toys for 2014 along with red hair “My Best Friend Chloe“.
How does Cayla work? She uses her listening device to transmit words to a special app that can be installed on Android and iOS devices. Bluetooth allows the mobile device to connect Cayla to the web. The user’s spoken words are translated to text and Cayla’s programming searches the web for an appropriate response. The majority of the time, Cayla will consult with Wikipedia for her answers. There is typically only one or two seconds of delay between the child’s questions and Cayla’s responses.
It’s hard to believe that technology has reached this point. Yet Cayla is programmed to be merely a seven year old girl so there are some answers that she doesn’t know. For instance, when a child asks Cayla where babies comes from, she skips over the question with a standard response that indicates her ignorance on the issue.
‘My Friend Cayla’ comes pre-programmed with Google’s SafeSearch so that she doesn’t utter any unsavory words in front of children. If a child cusses in front of the doll, the doll scolds them by saying “That’s inappropriate.” Parents will also be happy to know that the required app is free but she’ll need three double A batteries for operation.