Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why is Google going into the teddy bear business?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it beats addressing some of the nastier questions we get. Again, not that we shy away from any questions but our Google rating just makes it a little less fun to answer the nasty questions.)
Speaking of Google, why is Google going into the teddy bear business? Well, they may not be for sure but it sure looks like they are getting ready to do so, at any rate.
No, we’re not talking about Google Panda. That was an April Fool’s Day joke. There is, however, a real patent out there for both a teddy bear and a bunny.
Our guest today recently researched it and can confirm things. Kim Lachance Shandrow, a writer for the website Entrepeneur, says the patent “is not a joke. The patent, filed back in 2012 and greenlighted just last week, describes an ‘anthropomorphic device’ that could take the shape of a ‘doll or toy that resembles a human, an animal, a mythical creature or an inanimate object.’”
So why is Google doing patenting a teddy bear? Shandrow seems to think that it could be just another opportunity for Google to spy on people. After all, as she notes: “Google is already all up in our business. The data-hungry tech titan has mined private info from Gmail accounts, snatched passwords from unsuspecting computer users and now it wants to put a wired teddy bear in our homes that sees and hears everything we do and say.”
She reports that the stuffed animals “are equipped with microphones in their ears, cameras in their eyes, motors in their heads and speakers in their mouths.” Additionally, as she and other sources indicate the patent reveals even more information that supports the spy theory.
The patent says that the teddy bear (or bunny) can be set up to actually control various media devices via “social cues” like “movement and/or a spoken word or phrase.” Still, if the spy teddy bear disturbs you there is yet hope.
Shandrow reminds us that “just because a patent has been filed for something doesn’t mean anything will come of it. And, for its part, Google says merely filing a patent application for these furry connected toys doesn’t mean it will ever build and market them.”
Google told CNNMoney: “We hold patents on a variety of ideas — some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t.”
Still, Shandrow finds that to be small comfort and wonders if “Google Panda . . . was Google’s quirky way of warming us up to a snuggly, sinister future product line.”
Maybe if you ladies are looking for something soft and cuddly to control your electronic devices, y’all ought to consider e-mailing yours truly. He might be naughtier but he is definitely less creepy.)
Why is Google going into the teddy bear business? Now you know.
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