WiFi/Bluetooth and the toy industry
Interesting report (one of the drawback is that it's 2 years old) about the integration of WiFi and Bluetooth in the toy industry. I think it's a relevant issue since toys are more and more interactive.
There are many ways in which children can interact with toys beyond the tradition touch oriented play. Electronics in toys range from simple button activation to Infrared and Radio Frequency technologies. Traditional remote control cars using RF have been around for many years, but now Infrared is being used to transmit control information to toys. Clicker technology and RF tagging have also been used to detect elements in near proximity and enhance the play pattern with “smart” reactions. Toys have also been coupled to the personal computer, incorporating either clamp on keyboard devices, or direct input. (...) With both clicker and tagging technology, the child's play with the toy is enhanced through the sensing of other accessories.
The document describes some potential scenarios but...
Although it was predicted that bluetooth toys would be the hit for the 2001 Christmas season (Walker), the technology has been slow to catch on in other consumer markets, leading to prices that are still too high. With the current technologies used in sensing and interaction in the toy industry, the integration of bluetooth and WiFi into toys seems like the next logical step.
Why do I blog this? I am interested in knowing how the merge between toys and new kinds of technologies like wireless protocols might give birth to new applications.