Smart toys are on the way if a patent filed by Google earlier this week is anything to go by.
The tech giant has submitted to the US Patents and Trademark Office a patent for an internet of things-enabled doll capable of controlling nearby media and smart devices.
The dolls would be able pick up on audio and visual cues via a camera and microphone, and could communicate with IoT-enabled home appliances such as thermostats and lighting via bluetooth.
Perhaps most unsettling for users is the fact “the anthropomorphic device may aim its gaze at the source of the social cue… upon reception or a detection of a social cue,” meaning the doll will react and look at sources of noise or movement.
It’s worth noting that just because Google has filed a patent, it does not mean that the firm will be working on the toys in the immediate future – however, it does mean that the Chucky doll is one step closer to a reality.
Images from the patent can be viewed below.
Each unit will be capable of movement, also featuring a camera and microphone.
Hasbro in particular has made inroads in the smart-doll market. Its Wi-Fi-connected ‘Hello Barbie’ can conduct conversations with kids and remember their likes and dislikes.
It has come under fire from parental groups who accused it of recording and analysing “[a] child's intimate conversations with [its] doll”.