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This is Google’s patent for a creepy, watching smart teddy bear

The patent has actually been in existence for over three years but its existence only became known late last week when it was spotted by legal technology firm SmartUp, according to the BBC. Inevitably, much questioning has come of the discovery but Google responded to the BBC in its typical fashion, saying that Google holds patents on several services of which only a few are ever actually made.
The patent filing suggests that the technology could be made into a rabbit, bear, dragon or even alien form. Featuring microphones, speakers, cameras, motors and WiFi connectivity, your fluffy toy would be constantly listening for a “trigger word” that would lead to the bear waking up.

Google s patent filing for a  smart  internet-connected teddy bear

Google’s patent filing for a “smart” internet-connected teddy bear
Google patent via BBC

Capable of checking if the speaker is making eye contact, the bear would turn its gaze towards whoever spoke the trigger word. It could then respond by speaking or expressing “human-like” symbols of interest. Activated with voice control, the toy could control media or Internet of Things devices on the network that it is connected to.
The inventor is named in the patent filing as Richard Wayne DeVaul who has a job title of “director of rapid evaluation and mad science” at Google’s secretive “X” research lab. The BBC reports how DeVaul writes in the filing “To express interest, an anthropomorphic device may open its eyes, lift its head and/or focus its gaze on the user.”
Since the filing was made in 2012, it is unknown whether Google has actually attempted to develop the product. Privacy campaigners have expressed concerns over the potential impact on children whose toys are usually more “innocent” than a camera-stuffed smart device and it has been branded by many as “one of Google’s creepiest patents yet,” something that the company may find hard to shake off.

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