I bumped into Ubooly at CES 2013 and, besides thinking it was an adorable looking stuffed toy, I also thought a few aspects of its design made it worthy of the "innovation" label. The bottom line of all of these is that the product developers paid attention to natural human proclivities and their target markets (parents with young toddlers) were behaving. They took this info and created a fun product. Let's see if these take off like the Furby Doll flurry of a decade ago.
Here's a quick list:
- Cute, furry, rounded objects with round eyes are innately adorable to us humans.
- Toddlers naturally gravitate to and instantly know how to use their parents iPhones.
- Parents tend to give their young children older iPhones as they replaced what they used for their own puposes.
- Educational and fun games are things parents actually "like" having their kids do on their smartphones.
- If a toy can teach a child an language, and continually repeat words so that parents don't have to, all the better.
- And an engaged child is a happy child, so no better way to learn.
Here's a short interview where you can learn more.
p.s. - To disclose fully - I owned two Furby's and delighted in stripping them down to their electronics and watching how they worked when they interacted with one another. A smart toy that was one of the first of its kind and is still around!