The global market is nowhere near in short supply of smart toys. Thus, there is a wide range of different smart toys with interesting features and functions that are pushing out the more traditional toys and making these ordinary toys redundant. The worldwide smart toy market is growing at such a rapid pace that it’s expected to be valued at approximately $70,000 by the year 2026.
The reason for this immense popularity stems from parents attempting to make a conscious effort to raise tech-savvy, quick-minded, and creative-thinking children. One way to effectively achieve this objective is by making use of smart toys. Smart toys also work as an excellent progression with the technological advances the world is seeing. Thus, these smart toys help children remain engaged in what they’re playing with instead of demanding new toys on a far too frequent basis.
What Are Smart Toys?
A smart toy can be described as an interactive device that employs artificial intelligence. Due to this, a smart toy holds the ability to react to triggers. Some of these smart toys are equipped with touch sensors while some use voice recognition and others interact with the user through a variety of apps.
The first intelligence incorporated into smart toys was backed by inboard electronics. This was the foundation that led to the creation of programmable robots, walkie-talkies, gamepads, radio-controlled toy cars, and Tamagotchi.
However, from these origins, the smart toys available today go over and above while providing new levels to a child’s education and entertainment. This is largely due to a natural language understanding, natural language processing, and speech recognition. The smart toys produced today use built-in sensors, which aids in enabling spatial awareness.
What Are Smart Cubes?
Smart cubes are toys that are designed and created as advanced Rubik’s cubes. These cubes have technological features, which are used to enhance the experience and benefits gained when playing with a Rubik’s cube. These smart connected toys also hold the ability to connect to the internet and to a tablet or smartphone. This incorporation of technology provides users with the ability to track their moves in real-time.
A Rubik’s cube has the reputation of being exceptionally complex to solve until now. The smart cube is equipped with many different abilities and one is problem solving. Thus, children learn how to solve the cube in an interactive and fun way. The smart cube can also be used to battle other smart cube users online and play engaging games.
Due to all of these features, this smart cube is made to be the perfect STEM toy. This is largely because it’s fun, educating, adds a lot of value to the screen time spent throughout the day on the connected devices, and enhances the play experience.
What Are the Benefits of Using Smart Toys?
The primary purpose of smart toys remains the same. These are meant to entertain. However, with the added benefits, these toys also provide special experiences and benefits to users. Some of these benefits from smart toys include:
When children begin playing with smart toys, they hold the ability to develop reasoning and perception. Smart toys are known to provide the particular devices that help the kid to build a train of thought as they create different conversations. Moreover, playing with embedded toy games, such as quizzes and puzzles, boosts their cognitive process, and develops their ability to think freely.
However, the most important thing is that children discover and implement appropriate social interaction, discover emotions and feelings, and define a good and bad attitude. An example of this would be that some smart toys are designed and programmed to interact with the toy on a conversational basis. Thus, to play with this specific toy, the child is going to need to find the right words in order to continue the playing with the smart toy.
One of the key elements that make up a child’s game is imagination. Every child builds an entire world involving the particular toy there are playing with. This feature is incredibly valuable as it has the capability to encourage exploration and interest, as the toy can aid in the child further evolving this imaginary world.
Examples of smart toys where this imaginary spirit is provoked are building blocks, board games, and video games. These building blocks and other games may be used to create different worlds and fantasies. The options for smart toys are also open-ended with a variety of additional capabilities and applications that provoke this imaginative thinking.
Besides entertainment, education is the main purpose of smart toys. The educational value of each smart toy is different and is designed for various age groups. However, something that’s very important is that playing with smart toys introduces kids to the digital world.
As time progresses, the electronic environment becomes more connected. This is an essential process for children to experience. The earlier the child gets introduced to computer interaction, the higher the skills are that the child acquires.
Some smart toys offer lessons in core STEM disciplines, as well as basic programming knowledge. These particular smart toys are becoming increasingly popular, especially for parents who are busy working and would like to keep their child active.
Features to Consider
When continuing to browse the array of smart toys available, several features need to be considered before deciding on the type of smart toy, along with how it is going to be implemented into the child’s environment. These are some of the features that need to be heavily considered:
Safety and Ethics
Smart toys are quite new to the entire toy world. Due to this, there aren’t any certification marks or quality labels provided with these smart toys. It isn’t a surprising idea to think that ethical and safety questions are brought up among cautious parents.
The reasoning behind this uncertainty is that many fear that children can be badly influenced or misguided from playing with particular smart toys. Some of the questions that come up in such discussions include:
- What are the privacy and security issues?
- Can smart toys get hacked?
This is definitely an interesting topic that deserves its own stand-alone article. However, the gist of these ethics and safety involved in the use of smart toys is that things aren’t as bad as many people make it seem.
To avoid such negative aspects of smart toys, it’s imperative that parents form a knowledgeable understanding of the smart interaction between the specific toy and child. There are responsibilities for both manufacturers and parents when deciding to create, purchase, and make use of a smart toy.
A robot, a doll, or any other toy is never going to replace human interaction. This is something that needs to be kept in mind constantly. Toys don’t have human emotions, even though many kids used to anthropomorphize their favorite toys.
However, although incredibly normal, the constant humanization of these toys holds the ability to lead to dependency. It’s clear to understand that toys have the ability to provide a sense of psychological safety and comfort. Nonetheless, long-term dependence on these toys can lead to the child isolating from the real world.
The result of this dependency may progress into a difficulty of differentiating between a fantasy world and the real world. When used in moderation, a healthy relationship between a child and their toy can be formed. However, the incorporation of this smart toy into the child’s environment should never replace interactions that the child is experiencing with real people.