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Barbie to get digital makeover with Wi-Fi connectivity

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Hello Barbie
Image credit: BBC

Barbie is set to get down with the 21st century youth thanks to new plans that will see the classic doll packed full of tech.

Toy maker Mattel has joined together with a US start-up called ToyTalk on ‘Hello Barbie’, a doll that will purportedly speak to children, as reported by the BBC.

Mattel will be creating the core doll, while ToyTalk will provide the speech recognition platform.

“The number one request we hear from girls around the world is that they want to have a convesation with Barbie,” said a Mattel spokeswoman.

Now, for the first time ever, Barbie can have a two-way conversation.”

In terms of tech, Hello Barbie will be stuffed with a microphone, speaker, and two tri-colour LEDs. The latter will be in her necklace, not her eyes, thankfully.

The legs of the doll will contain rechargeable batteries, and will connect to an external wall-mounted charger.

These batteries will offer an hour of playtime after a full charge, after which the doll will be rendered completely inanimate and, well, doll-like.

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It’s also worth noting that the Barbie doll will require a Wi-Fi connection to actually work.

That being said, we’re sure three-year olds will still be able to throw it around, cut off its hair, and tear off limbs just as easily, whatever the Wi-Fi situation.

The doll will reportedly retail for $74.99, which translates to £49 sterling, although there’s no confirmed release date just yet.

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