Toys get a tech upgrade

Kids' toys are getting smarter.

Toys get a tech upgrade


The Future. Kids’ toys are getting smarter, utilizing AI assistants, animatronics, and apps to expand the possibilities of playtime. But like all things software, parents may need to balance the potential of smart toys with the need for privacy.

Barbie in beta
This Christmas season may be the one of giving a robot to your child.

  • Amazon partnered with KidKraft on a toy kitchen and market set that is integrated with Alexa.
  • A company called PlayShifu is selling a smart globe that connects to an app and shares facts when kids tap on a location.
  • Another company, HUGE! Play, is selling an animatronic figure called GameBud Talking Tom that interacts with kids and is also connected to all of their devices and games.

While techy toys are cool and offer a respite from the iPad, it does have some parents and analysts raising eyebrows. By their very nature, these toys are rife with privacy pitfalls, which kids may be unaware of… especially if they require kids to share information that a parent may not approve of.

And this isn’t some abstract fear. In 2015, the smart toymaker VTech exposed kids’ data when the company had a data breach.