Netflix TV show gets interactive range of singalong smart toys

A new range of children’s toys has been developed that are designed to interact with Netflix programming in real-time.

Toy firm Hijinx has teamed up with sound tech company Chirp to build a series of interactive toys based on the Emmy-award winning Netflix TV series Beat Bugs. The TV show is based around music produced by the Beatles, exploring the narratives within songs.

What’s unique about the Beat Bugs toys is that they’ll interact and sing along with the TV show, and each other too. The way that the proprietary technology designed by Chirp usually works is that it encodes data into a so-called “sonic barcode”, which can then be decoded by a receiving device. For the Beat Bugs show, Chirp had to revamp this technology to allow the toys to interact with select audio from the show.

For the Beat Bugs toys, Hijinx Alive powered by Chirp uses this technology in a totally different way as we’re not embedding ‘Chirps’ into pre-existing television audio,” explains James Nesfield, Chief Technology Officer at Chirp.

beat bugs

He continues: “Instead, the toys themselves will recognise portions of the audio and this triggers a select action for the toy.”

Nesfield describes that technology as “safe”, and says there’s no risk of exposing them to the “potential dangers the internet presents”. Echoing this sentiment is Moran Lerner, CEO of Chirp, who said: “This global partnership is testament to the unique technology that finally allows toys to interact with the world around them in a safe, secure way.”

Lerner continued: “We’re looking forward to working closely with Hijinx to deliver a new generation of toys, starting with Beat Bugs, bringing the magic of this award-winning TV show into the real world, with each toy character able to interact with what is happening in the show in real-time.”

There will be five singing Beat Bugs toys available at launch, all of which will “magically” sing along with Beat Bugs season one episodes, as well as the Beat Bugs Alive app.

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