The Hello Barbie Hologram is a small box that has an animated projection of Barbie that responds to the child's questions. The hologram is contained inside a glass box, where the image is projected in a 3D state.
A smartphone is not required to use the Hello Hologram, but it gave parents, a measure of control over their child's interaction with it, like setting a bed time so they did not sit up all night gossiping with the blonde (or brunette) avatar.
The toy manufacturing company recommends the Hello Barbie Hologram for kids six years and older. The hologram of Barbie, that is housed inside a pink plastic case, remains active as long as the power in the toy stays plugged in and features voice commands to change her appearance, clothes and even skin tone.
It was unveiled at the Toy Industry Association's annual fair in NY this weekend, and Mattel said the hologram on display is "just a glimpse" of what the final product will be.
However, it's said that the hologram's conversations skills are like nothing Barbie has seen before. Hello Barbie Hologram is created to sit on a kid's nightstand or around the house to extend playtime. The device also works as a Bluetooth speaker, so children who want to use their iPad to play music can do so over the hologram box. For example, there is more than one Barbie to choose from.
Data would be encrypted and parents would be able to review everything the system collected.
This is the latest tech innovation for the Barbie brand, coming on the heels of the talking Hello Barbie and the voice-activated Hello Dreamhouse. Mattel introduced Hello Barbie artificial intelligence inside a physical Barbie doll in 2015.
The doll connects to the internet via Wi-Fi so it can search responses to questions via software company ToyTalk. They also made it clear to Mashable that they expected children to turn off Hello Barbie when not in use. Because the doll remembers conversations and learns from the data to provide tailored responses, it nearly seems like "she's alive", explained the firm.
While this may sound revolutionary, Chicago-based security researcher Matt Jakubowski told NBC that he has discovered the toy is vulnerable to hacking.
Once inside a network, he said it is easy to access account information and stored audio files as well as gain access to the microphone. However, the toymaker hasn't included any Ken dolls in the selection just yet. There's not a camera in the doll'.