If you’re hunting around for that perfect Christmas toy for your kid this Christmas it may not be on shelves yet. However current trends show that a new type of toy is coming right down the pipe and will be here soon. The Christmas 2012 holiday won’t see highly advanced AI Toys but if ToyTalk has anything to say about it, Christmas 2013 will.
On November 1st, 2012 a video was released on YouTube under the account Toy Talk Inc showing a teddy bear that can talk with your kid and interact with them. There is a bit of a catch, the technology and intelligence of this artificial intelligence teddy bear is not built inside the bear itself it seems, but inside your tablet. For now it looks like it’s an iPad that is Teddy’s brain. We hope it will advance to all tablets like Google’s Nexus 10 tablet due out soon.
The video was titled, “ToyTalk Trailer – Your teddy bear has so much to tell you.” The description from the Toy company about themselves on the video is, “ToyTalk is a family entertainment company. Our mission is to create entertainment powered by characters and conversation. This is our first video. There will be more – subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ToyTalkInc”
The artificial intelligence toy company is growing fast and is already posting engineering jobs for AI core development and more. In the job listing we found ToyTalk explains their company as this, “ToyTalk is a company with amazingly talented people trying to tackle a pretty radical idea. We are a family entertainment company. Our mission is to create entertainment powered by characters and conversation. ToyTalk is a venture backed start-up in San Francisco’s SOMA district. Here at ToyTalk, we offer competitive salaries, stock options, and a comprehensive benefits package.”
The company that developed the beginnings to Apple’s virtual assistant Siri was called SRI international. The CTO of ToyTalk is Martin Reddy who was working in the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International. The CEO of ToyTalk is an ex-Pixar Chief Technical Officer. The CEO is named Oren Jacob and his projects at Pixar were movies like Bugs Life, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 1 and 2.
According to VentureBeat the ToyTalk company is getting quite a bit of attention and money thrown it’s way. Venture Beat talks about talking Teddy Bears raising $11.5 million and lays out the details stating, “ToyTalk’s total capital raised to almost $16 million, following a $4 million seed round led by Greylock partners, with participation from True Ventures, First Round Capital, and angel investors.”
Now the world awaits for smart toys sitting in bedrooms having conversations with kids. What’s next now that Siri-like friends have infiltrated your kids bedroom?