Saturday 18 February 2017


Cayla doll

"D-o-l-l-h-o-u-s-e, I see things that nobody else sees."
Melanie Martinez.

" If my sister gets this I will find a hammer."
BloodZOmbie forever

" This makes Chucky look outright benevolent."

Caution, bad language in this clip, showing the potential for bad language to be hacked into the doll:

Awesome musings from guest blogger Acerules:

A few years ago I was a child who would have loved a doll that could talk back to me, yes there were toys that repeated what you said or they had a recorded message but one that you could have had a conversation with? That would have blown my mind. 


But that doesn't mean it's ok. Young kids are extremely easy to manipulate, if a pretty doll asked them a question that an older, more experienced person would find strange or unsafe, the kid won't see anything wrong with it. I personally believe that if Cayla had safety measures and failsafes it wouldn't be that much of a problem . It wouldn't be that hard to programme the app with responses, it does not have to be connected to the entire internet. 

I think the manufacturers should put a code that you have to use to connect it to Bluetooth onto the back of the doll (making each one different) to make hacking much more difficult.
Take away the security questions and it's a doll that talks back. A plastic friend.

Germany banning the doll, safe link


Fizzfan said...

Fab post Acerules! I spent loads of time talking to plastic mute dolls when I was a kid, so one that you could have a two way conversation with would have been amazing. I always wanted one whose hair grew back as I had a tendency to play hairdressers and bald dolls are quite unattractive! Mind you, I wonder just how much of a real conversation you could actually have? Virtual reality is both awesome and terrifying because it kind of negates the need to do things properly (like make a real friend) but for most children it would probably be a 5 minute wonder anyway because there really is no substitute for human interaction, but to fill some gaps and use to fuel the imagination, I'm on board with the idea and your special code would surely solve any hacking issues.

Running on empty said...

Yes, it's true there is no substitute for interaction with a human child. Of course in East Berlin in the Cold War they could have spied on you too. No wonder the Germans have banned recording devices in toys.

Everyone should listen to the song Acerules picked out, at the start of the post, it's thought provoking.

Fizzfan said...

Yeah it's an awesome song. Just loved it. What's really going behind those curtains....I've known soooo many people who hide behind images of perfection to the point of it being almost sad. I'm not interested in perfection, in fact I find it boring. It's the cracks and dealing mechanisms that fascinate me and I'm pretty sure if you're honest about lifes curve balls, you're better able to deal with them. On a more serious note, I'm sure some children have the most terrible issues to deal with, and that is very scary. They do say that honesty is the most powerful weapon but most people can't handle it. With today's political correctness and image obssessed society I think it's especially difficult. In that respect I would say controversially that Donald Trump is a breath of fresh air, or is it just another form of manipulation to make people feel he's being honest just by virtue of him sounding harsh? What to believe?! I do love the fact he keeps calling the media liars though, because they sooo often are.

Kathy said...

The recorders could be a real problem if taken over by some individuals...also baby monitors in children's rooms can be hacked and spy on the house and talk to the child. I think we can do without them. I got along fine with my imagination...let's not ask for trouble.

Running on empty said...

Fizz, having worked in the healthcare industry, and other ones, I don't believe there is such a thing as perfect individuals or families. I've never met one. once you get to know people properly, there is always something they are ashamed of. What differs is how much they hide it, and what they think is worth hiding, which changes with cultural norms.

Kathy, it's a toss up, safety versus privacy with baby monitors, isn't it? I know with my ADHD child, I was friends with a television cameraman who was good with all forms of tech. We set up a closed circuit B&W TV system. The TV was in our bedroom, because the nursery wasn't nearby. We are talking mid 1990s. Cayla was science fiction then.

Certainly I bought very few automated toys for my kids. I wanted them to develop their imaginations, as you said, and they did. Every birthday and Christmas they got stocking stuffers for drawing, writing, and throwing.

Anonymous said...

Thank fizz and Kathy,
I agree that imagination is always best if u don't use it u may lose it.