large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Forget its robot armies, Google’s smart teddy bear is way creepier

Google’s interest in robotics is well documented and goes well beyond the quirky Android character who represents its mobile operating system.

The company has acquired a host of robotics companies in recent years, including seven in little over a week back in 2013.

However, of all of the terrifying droids in its arsenal, including this four-legged Cheetah and the dog that can’t be kicked over, there’s nothing more unsettling than the robot teddy bear the firm has patented.

Yesterday, the US Patents and Trademarks office (via Gizmodo) revealed a filing from 2012 for a “doll or toy that resembles a human, an animal, a mythical creature or an inanimate object” with voice and facial recognition capabilities.

The filing made by, Daniel Aminzade and Richard DeVaul, engineers at Google’s secretive X Labs division wrote: “If the user speaks a command while gazing back at the anthropomorphic device, the anthropomorphic device may access a profile of the user to determine, based on the user’s preference encoded in the profile, how to interpret the command.”

Essentially, this cuddly fella would recognise the face and voice of its masters and respond accordingly. Naturally, it’ll need to have cameras, microphones and speakers so would be a pretty good security-slash-spying on the children tool too.

If that wasn’t scary enough, the ‘toy’ will apparently exist in a sleep state until commanded. Then it’ll wake up by stretching and yawning.

Read more: Google I/O 2015: What to expect

Google is framing the bear as a cross between Amazon’s Echo speaker and a smart home hub that could control appliances, adjust the room temperature, lighting, and locks, etc..

It’ll play music, give you the weather forecast and ensure your children never sleep soundly again. Hell, this might even be scarier than the fact there’s a Ted 2 on the way. Why, God? Why…?

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.