Tag Archives: Smart Toys

Jabber is a tossable talking toy for kids

Jabber is the first smart toy designed to be tossed, kicked, smashed, hit and more.

Although the concept of educational toys may be nothing new, SKWRL Design has created a new and innovative way for children to have fun while also developing their social, sensory and fine motor skills. Say hi to Jabber.


Billed as the first smart toy designed to be hit, smashed, kicked and tossed, Jabber is a durable foam ball embedded with a series of sensors and a powerful speaker that enables it to respond when played with. In an effort to combat today’s screen addiction epidemic, this friendly-looking accessory is ideal for outdoor games — whether that’s being thrown across the yard, kicked to a friend or even bounced off a wall. In any case, Jabber will sense when it is thrown, caught, dropped or shaken, and then facilitate interactive game-play accordingly.


Not only that, the Bay Area startup has given each Jabber a unique personality that kids can grow attached. Meaning, it will react to a child’s input with funny phrases and sounds. For example, you can unlock new sayings, set a high toss record or even start a dance party. The ball is equipped with a single button under its foam exterior, which allows users to exit interactive mode and choose between games such as egg toss, hot potato, tag, or perhaps our favorite, noise grenade.

In terms of its hardware, the cute Pikachu-like device is comprised of three main components: sensors for detecting motion, an Atmel | SMART SAM C Cortex-M0+ MCU for deciphering the movement and deciding the output, and a built-in speaker for emitting various sounds upon command. On top of that, keeping everything safe and secure are three injection molded plastic parts that also house four AAA batteries for long lasting power.


Sound like a toy that your child (or maybe even you) would enjoy? Head over to Jabber’s Kickstarter campaign, where the SKWRL Design crew is currently seeking $45,000. Pending all goes to plan, delivery is slated for April 2016.

Google patents Internet-connected toys that can control smart home devices

Get ready for the IoT, the Internet of Toys. 

Google just filed a patent for what may pan out to be one of the coolest or creepiest inventions to date. We’ll let you decide. That’s because, with aspirations of breaking into the toy industry, the tech giant has revealed a plan for stuff animals that can control other in-home devices such as TVs, DVRs, music players, thermostats and window curtains.


Fitted with sensors, microphones, speakers, motors and cameras, the teddy bear would hypothetically be able to detect whether someone was looking at it it, then rotate its head, make eye contact and speak to the person addressing them. Once the plush toy receives and recognizes a voice prompt, a user can instruct it to change the channel on a TV, skip a song and pull up the weather forecast, among many other commands.

“To express interest, an anthropomorphic device may open its eyes, lift its head, and/or focus its gaze on the user or object of its interest,” the patent filing reads. “To express curiosity, an anthropomorphic device may tilt its head, furrow its brow, and/or scratch its head with an arm. To express boredom, an anthropomorphic device may defocus its gaze, direct its gaze in a downward fashion, tap its foot, and/or close its eyes. To express surprise, an anthropomorphic device may make a sudden movement, sit or stand up straight, and/or dilate its pupils.”


The patent diagrams a stuffed teddy bear and a bunny, but notes that the gadgets could also apply to mythical creatures ranging from dragons to aliens. Keep in mind, though, this patent is not a surefire indication that Google will ever launch such a product. In fact, the document was originally filed back in February 2012 and granted the other day. However, should the company never choose to pursue this endeavor, one can only imagine that others will debut similar items in the very near future. Just this year alone, toy maker Mattel announced that it was developing a connected Barbie that can hold conversations with children, while startup Elemental Path took their Internet-enabled dinosaur to Kickstarter.

With the emergence of smart dolls, it’s only a matter of time before privacy issues will ensue. Coincidentally, Atmel resident security always explains that, although IoT is possible without security, without security it would really just be a toy. And recent exploits by hackers prove just that. Literally. One route Siri, the other route Chucky, it will be interesting to see which direction these toys will go.