Over the years, technology has become more and more personal with focus on tracking your preferences and adjusting to fit your unique tastes. Some target your interests. Google can predict what you are going to search for next. Your phone already knows what your next text will be.
Now, Elemental Path is looking to bring the concept of personalized tech to toys for kids with CogniToys.
CogniToys is an interactive dinosaur powered by IBM’s Watson. Elemental Path is claiming this is the first truly “connected” toy. It’s speech enabled and connected to the Internet. The company boasts the friendly green dino can connect to a cloud platform and give back age appropriate, personalized responses to children’s questions.
In a way, it’s like a kid-friendly Siri.
Children can get answers to questions like, How far is the moon?, as well as give commands. CogniToys will tell jokes and create stories with the child’s responses. The more a child plays with it the more it’s supposed to evolve. Things like the child’s favorite color and interests are remembered and shape the dinosaurs’ personality.
To keep things kid friendly, Elemental Path has added a “Parent Panel.” This is an online dashboard parents can access to monitor their child’s interaction with the toy. Parents can also set restrictions on features like play time and what information their child can access.
In addition, Elemental Path claims to have included custom modules into the toy that provide educational play. Spelling, vocabulary, and math are some of the topics included. Content becomes more challenging as the child continues to play and interact. The idea is a toy that can grow with your child and help him or her learn.
One of the company’s co-founders, Donald Coolidge, told TechCrunch:
“We felt it was the right time for something like this to happen….Kids are using iPhones and tablets much more than most parents would like them to, when the benefits are not very clear…. It provides educational benefit, beyond just the play.”
The company is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for its new product. That campaign breezed past its initial goal within days and has now raised more than $240,000. If you are interested, you can get one of the toys for $99.
This video from the campaign gives additional insight into the company’s ambitions:Despite the successful Kickstarter campaign, Elemental Path’s long term focus is on the tech itself not the toy. According to TechCrunch, the company wants to license its product to be the “brains” behind other toys.
CogniToys may be hitting on a new concept for educational toys. You may not be able to count on any new adorable responsive creatures from Elemental Path. However if the company reaches its goal, many toys on store shelves could contain the company’s tech.
Images: Elemental Path