Mattel is bringing Aristotle to the market in June, a home assistant speaker similar to Amazon Echo or Google Home, specially designed to talk to children. It was reported that Aristotle will cost about $300.

As Amazon and Google continue to compete on who gets to be the voice assistant of the living room, Mattel’s Aristotle is being designed for a different room. The main distinction of Aristotle from other similar products is that it is made to understand the children’s way of speaking. According to Robb Fujioka, SVP and chief products officer at Mattel, accomplishing that was their aim from the very start.

Mattel's Aristotle
A render of Mattel’s Aristotle. Image credit: Mattel/Gizmodo.

“The challenges for many of the voice control device are accents and things like that. But we have a greater challenge —that our core audience often says words completely differently [even from one another].” Said Robb Fujioka, SVP and chief products officer at Mattel.

Aristotle can read bedtime stories

Mattel is the world’s largest toy maker by revenue. But as technology continues to advance, Mattel has decided to try the AI world. The company is planning to start selling Aristotle in June, which is similar to Google Home or Amazon Echo, though their cost is different. While Home costs $130 and the Echo $180, you will have to pay $300 if you want Aristotle to play with your kids.

Unlike all these products, Aristotle was designed to understand the way kids talk. This was possible thanks to a personal voice training that involved children reading a paragraph to Aristotle so that it could understand.

It can answer all the questions that the imaginative mind of a kid can process. The ability to answer these questions is powered by Microsoft which will lend its search tool Bing and AI from Cortana. Aristotle is also ready to read kids bedtime stories and play with them in unique ways.

Aristotle also comes with a camera similar to a smart baby monitor, which recognizes the environment, objects, and even Mattel toys. Aristotle will have the option to be used as a nightlight, lighting the room in different colors.

There are two voices inside Aristotle

There are two AI voices integrated into Mattel’s new product. The first is made for children. This “child mode” voice features a 25-year old kindergarten teacher, allowing the kid to interact with the AI assistant. The other one is the “parent mode” voice that brings up Alexa, which is Amazon’s voice assistant. It talks to parents, telling them when baby products –such as formula or diapers – are needed.

To develop the hardware and software, Mattel has worked with Qualcomm and Microsoft. It is the beginning of an ecosystem that will be opened to third-party developers. Definitely, Mattel’s Aristotle represents an evolution of the way children interact with technology devices.

Regarding security, Mattel said that it will deliver an encrypted feed to users’ phones via the cloud, possibly to reduce all the fears of internet-connected products. However, until Aristotle’s arrival to the stores, we can’t be sure if its microphones will allow it to collect a great amount of data from user’s private lives.

Source: Gadgets 360