Speech-enabled Toys for the Holidays
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - In 2005, companies such as Radica Games, Hasbro,
Inc.'s Tiger Electronics and Innotech Systems selected Sensory's speech-enabled solutions.
Radica Games has speech-enabled its Girl Tech Password Journal, featuring a Sensory IC for speaker verification. According to chief executive officer, Pat Feely, "(Q3) was the highest level of sales in any quarter ever at Radica, and our earnings were strong as well, with an operating margin over 18%...It demonstrates that our strategy of focusing on electronic entertainment for casual gamers is the right strategy for today's tech-savvy consumers." Earlier this year, Feely was quoted on Forbes.com regarding Radica's financial performance, "Of particular note is the strength we are seeing from our newly introduced fourth version of the Girl Tech Password Journal."
Over the past six years, Toy Wishes magazine has predicted the best-selling and most popular toys of the year, from the more than 150,000 toys on the market at any given time. One of this year's Hot Dozen Picks includes the former 1999 and 2000 Toy of The Year, Furby from Hasbro's Tiger Electronics. Sensory's RSC-4128 IC provides the "brains" for motor controls and voice recognition and synthesis, so Furby can communicate in his own language - "Furbish" - or in one of seven international languages while using facial expressions and synchronized body motions to display his emotions.
Making the top ten lists for Christmas gifts from retailers like Woolworths and Hamsleys in the UK, as well as Wired Magazine's Top 100+ technophile's holiday wish list, Amazing Amanda is another product powered by Sensory's RSC-4128 IC. Playmates Holdings Limited, parent company of Playmates Toys and makers of the doll, stated in their August 29 press release that "Amanda is the most technologically sophisticated and truly interactive doll and will add never before seen dimension to the traditional nurturing and caring play pattern. Amanda employs speaker independent voice recognition, lifelike animatronics and smart accessory recognition to create a new, magical play experience for little girls."
The Wall Street Journal recently proclaimed that the FamilyFun T.O.Y. Awards are "as coveted in the toy industry as the Oscar is in Hollywood." This competition relies on kid testers and an independent research firm to sift through the more than 500 toys submitted by nearly 200 companies to come up with the 21 best toys of the year. FURREAL FRIENDS SCAMPS: MY PLAYFUL PUP, from Hasbro's Tiger Electronics, features an RSC-4128 and was voted the favorite playmate for children aged 5-7. Requiring no training, Scamps comes out of the package knowing seven commands.
Other consumer electronic companies like HOT from Taiwan, CyberWorkshops from Hong Kong, and Innotech in the U.S. are designing household products featuring speech recognition. Speech-enabled remote controls, messaging systems, and clocks are selling well, and aggressive new products featuring Sensory's speech technologies are in the works.
According to Len Novara, CEO of Innotech Systems, "Our first generation
InVoca universal remote control has been a big success, selling many hundreds of thousands of units. We are now working on a line of products and enhanced universal remotes with the Sensory processors because we see the market for speech recognition consumer electronics really starting to open up."