Google has filed a patent for Internet-connected creepy-looking teddy bears and bunny rabbits which could keep a watchful eye on children, eavesdrop on anything we say and control smart home appliances.
The devices would listen for instructions and interact with homeowners to switch lights on and off or turn on household appliances upon a simple vocal command. The patent describes devices that would turn their heads towards users and listen to what they are saying, before sending commands to remote computer servers.
The three-year old patent was spotted recently by the legal technology firm SmartUp, BBC News reported. According to the patent, the toys would include microphones, speakers, cameras and motors as well as a wireless connection to the Internet. The device could look like a bunny rabbit or teddy bear, while other alternatives include dragons and alien life forms. Making the machine look “cute” should encourage even the youngest members of a family to interact with it, according to the patent.
It suggests the toys could be used to control a wide range of devices, from televisions and DVD players to home thermostats, motorised window curtains and lights. A Google spokesperson said the company files patent on a variety of ideas that its employees come up with. “Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t,” she said.