This story is from the category Artificial Intelligence
Date posted: 26/08/2005
Judy Shackelford, 40 year toy industry veteran, is used to pushing the limits on a shoestring budget. Her latest creation. Amazing Amanda, is no exception. Using state of the art speech recognition, in-built flash memory, RFID tags and an inbuilt RFID scanner, and facial animatronics, Amanda is not a normal doll.
"The toy industry is sort of like 'MacGyver,' " Ms. Shackelford said, invoking the problem-solving 1980's television hero. "You're always doing workarounds, figuring out how to rearrange the old in some new way to create something new. And you've got to do it for nickels and dimes and quarters."
She then turned to the doll seated on her lap. "Hi, honey," Ms. Shackelford said gently to Amazing Amanda, a blond, blue-eyed figure bearing more than a remote likeness to its creator.
"Hello, my name is Amanda," the doll replied as Ms. Shackelford smiled warmly at its rosy face. "We're going to have the best time together," the doll promised.
Amanda?s high technological innards lead to a product ahead of the curve. A doll that promises to "listen, speak and show emotion."
Radio frequency tags in Amanda's accessories - including toy food, potty and clothing - wirelessly inform the doll of what it is interacting with. For instance, if the doll asks for a spoon of peas and it is given its plastic cookie, it will gently admonish its caregiver, telling her that a cookie is not peas.
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