RFID-based Toys Coming to A Galaxy Near You
Phantom Menace action figures don’t just wear capes and fight with light sabers, they can also talk back – at least some of them. A toy company that launched the dolls along with the 1999 Star Wars film embedded RFID tags into them so that a reader on the base station could recognize which Jedi Masters kids were playing with and address them by their proper names.
As RFID technology becomes more cost effective and widely used, consumers are likely to find more and more toys that come equipped with RFID. Some are tagged because it’s easier to confirm the safety of a toy in the event of a recall. Others use tags to make the toys more "intelligent," enjoyable and interactive.
Indeed "interactive" is a buzz word among educators and parents, and some parents have praised the contribution to the learning process of RFID-based toys since they do allow for playful communication between child and object. A few families have even found that RFID-based toys are a lot easier – and cleaner – to keep indoors than live animals.
One such stuffed pet, an RFID triceratops, responds to children. The beast moves his head when rubbed on the belly and he roars when you pat him. The dinosaur weighs 60 pounds and even snores when he is put to sleep.
With 12 RFID sensors inside, the dinosaur is full of interactive surprises.
Just watch out when that triceratops gets hungry.
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