Google has chosen to file one of the strangest and creepiest patents that the company has filed to date. As soon as the sketch of the theoretical product was seen, commenters immediately began wondering why Google would want to produce such a product. Essentially, it would be a stuffed animal that is connected to the endless network of servers at Google. It would act like your smartphone, in that it could receive your requests and process commands – and still come in the cuddly package that everyone has come to know and love.
As far as specifics go, the sketch looks like the ears of the stuffed rabbit would be microphones. Speakers would be placed where the mouth is, and then eyes would serve as cameras. This is an interesting twist because it’s something that seems more voyeuristic than it does simply a good use of technology. Many have already questioned what Google could possibly want with a stuffed animal that would be connected to its servers.
While there seems to be a relative draw heading toward everything imaginable becoming a “smart” device, and all objects working together – taking a children’s toy and making it a “smart” device seems a bit overzealous. In fact, some have even gone by way of pointing out that if Google simply limited the information that could be reached on the devices, that they wouldn’t be quite as invasive. That is to say that if the device or stuffed animal wasn’t connected to “every” Google server, or that consumers could feel safe knowing that their children’s voices, words, and the things they say would be monitored – it might find more popularity.
However, at this point it seems like something that’s just too much for most parents to get on board with. Google reminds everyone though that just because they file for a patent doesn’t mean that it will become a product one day. In fact, they have a lengthy list of patents that they have filed for but haven’t followed through to production. For a company as large as Google, this isn’t really anything of shock or surprise.
This does lend itself to bringing a lot of curiosity onboard. It’s going to be interesting to see how people react to a product like this, or, as more products become “smart products.” As more things are interacting with their other electronic things, it comes down to a race toward connecting everything. At that point, it will become a leg race, and Google wants to ensure that they’re poised to win that race, should it start sooner than later.