Mattel touts Aristotle, an Amazon Echo-style device for children
How would you feel about a smart, Wi-Fi-connected speaker named after a Greek philosopher helping raise your child?
Toymaker Mattel is planning Aristotle by Nabi, a smart baby monitor device that can also interact with your toddler— or kid, or tween. Aristotle is designed to be something like an Amazon Alexa or a Google Home, but programmed for children. Put another way, the hub is “an AI to help raise your child,” as Fast Company described it.
Mattel said that Aristotle could play a crying child a lullaby, and parents, meanwhile, could use the same speaker to order things through Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. More diapers, perhaps?
The device will also include LEDs and a camera, and is designed to evolve as a child grows up. “So we spent a lot of time investing in how it would age,” Robb Fujioka, Mattel’s chief products officer, told Fast Company.
6-YEAR-OLD ACCIDENTALLY ORDERS HIGH-END TREATS WITH AMAZON'S ALEXA
Mattel said in a statement that the device will have different phases. For example, Aristotle kid mode would be a “homework helper,” and Aristotle tween could even feature foreign language tutorial. Toddlers could find that a green or red light lets them know if they’ve answered a question correctly, Mattel said.
Aristotle will make use of 256-bit encryption to keep information (such as the video stream from the baby monitor) private, and was “built with COPPA [Children's Online Privacy Protection Act] compliance in mind,” Mattel said. For its artificial intelligence, it will use Microsoft Cognitive Services, and Cortana Intelligence is on the way.
AMAZON ECHO VS. GOOGLE HOME IN A VIRTUAL STANDOFF
“Our goal with the launch of Aristotle is to provide parents with a platform that simplifies parenting, while helping them nurture, teach, and protect their young ones,” Jim Mitchell, vice president at Nabi, which is part of Mattel, said in the statement.
More Internet-connected devices in homes— a realm of tech known generally as the Internet of Things— create new, sometimes humorous, issues at the intersection of humans and technology. Recently, a 6-year-old girl in Texas accidentally ordered cookies and a pricey dollhouse through an Amazon Echo Dot device.
“I tell my kids Alexa is a very good listener,” Megan Neitzel, the child’s mom, told FoxNews.com.
As for Aristotle, the device will have a “child mode,” according to Mattel— and when it’s in that setting, parents could restrict purchasing or could even require that their kid says “please.”
Aristotle is scheduled to be released in June and will cost $299.
Follow Rob Verger on Twitter: @robverger