A pair of cutting-edge companies is raising the bar for how interactive a toy can be.
First is the Winston Show, an iPad app created by ToyTalk. The program lets kids join a talk show in which computer-generated characters actually listen and talk back. ToyTalk's speech-recognition technology is able to detect children's voices and speech patterns.
"So when you talk to us on the iPad, your audio is taken off the device through the cloud," ToyTalk co-founder and former Pixar CTO Oren Jacob told Driving Ingenuity's Katie Linendoll. "We recognize the speech, we decide what to say back and stream back the audio animation back to the device."
However, those in the fast lane might want to get behind the wheel with Anki DRIVE, an artificially intelligent toy car that's able sense its surroundings -- and drive itself.
"The game comes with two characters, and each one has its own personality," Anki CEO Boris Sofman said, adding that the more you play, the better they get.
If these toy cars seem a bit like the autonomous cars being developed by Google, you're not alone.
"The core problems that we're solving are not too different than what we'd have to solve to operate in a home, on a road," he said. He went on: "What we're doing is taking these technologies out of the lab and into people's lives with consumer robotics products."