Mattel Takes Over Parenting Duties With Aristotle, The Device That Will Invade Homes Of The Future

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald January 05, 04:00 am
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Mattel hopes superhero Barbie will rejuvenate sales
Barbie Doll-maker has a new digital assistant for children called Aristotle.
(Photo : David McNew/Getty Images )

Toymaker Mattel has unveiled its newest item for children and their parents. The highly-powered electronic device is called Aristotle and it has been described as similar to the smart assistant Alexa from Amazon Echo.

Bloomberg reports that Aristotle is featured with voice control, HD camera, speakers, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. Parents can program the device with different tasks such as ordering diapers online, reminding carers on nap time or diaper changes, or soothing fussy babies with light, white noise or lullabies. It can also read bedtime stories for young children or initiate guessing games and flash card games.

Valued at $300, Aristotle will be available for purchase in the summer. Mattel has partnered with baby retailers like Babies "R" Us and Target for the online purchases. Future plans include tie-ups with education and entertainment sites so that Aristotle becomes a full-featured electronic smart gadget for children.

"It does everything Amazon Echo does," tech expert David Pogue said, according to ABC News. "But it also has a huge list of child-specific things that it can do by voice," he adds. The other difference between Aristotle and smart digital assistants like Alexa (Amazon Echo) and Siri (iOS devices) is that it can recognize children's voices.

Older children will have use for the Aristotle as well, as it will eventually help with homework. The idea is for the gadget to also grow with the child as she reaches different milestones.

There are concerns, however, over privacy with such a powerful high-technology gadget. Aristotle collects data, which could be vulnerable to hacking and other security breaches.

Mattel, however, assures parents that Aristotle's data has a safe encryption and parents can control it by limiting or disabling certain settings. The company also said that much research and development has been poured into Aristotle to address potential concern from parents.

Would you be interested in getting Aristotle for your children's use? Let us know in the comments about your thoughts on this gadget!

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