This smart dinosaur wants to make friends with kids, unlikely to eat them

This smart toy dinosaur is powered by a supercomputer

Everything’s smart at the moment, from phones to watches, and cars to refrigerators. But what about really smart toys? The CogniToy is probably the smartest we’ve seen yet, because not only is it connected to the Internet, but it’s powered by the same cognitive computing and language technology used by the IBM Watson supercomputer. That’s pretty smart.

The CogniToy, who really needs a proper name, is designed to get to know its owner. It asks questions, listens to and remembers answers – from favorite colors to interests – and can tell jokes. It’ll check the Internet for answers to general questions, with age-appropriate responses of course, and will even make up stories with kids. Educationally, the little dinosaur can help with spelling, vocabulary, math, and other topics in a fun, interactive way.

There’s only one button, and it’s on the dino’s tummy, and it’s used to wake him up. The CogniToy connects to a Wi-Fi network, then communicates with the IBM Watson servers to come up with answers, which are communicated in a normal way. Think of it like Siri for kids, but with a voice like Yoda.


We’ve seen something like this before. Way back in 1997, Microsoft released a toy line called ActiMates, the first of which was based on then-popular purple dinosaur Barney. He talked, sung, and interacted with kids, but sat on a special pedestal connected to a PC. He was also exceptionally irritating, a trait that happily doesn’t seem to have been carried over here.

Back to the CogniToy. Parents aren’t left out, and although they shouldn’t be playing with the dinosaur, a web portal lets them monitor progress through the educational programs, and even see the questions being asked. It’s promised the data sent will be anonymous, and won’t be shared without prior consent.

Aimed at four to seven year-olds, the CogniToy is available through Kickstarter right now, where it has already surpassed its $50,000 goal. The dino costs $100 and only comes in green, unless the campaign reaches $100,000, when other colors will be offered. Deliveries should take place in November, just in time for Christmas.

Emerging Tech

Get ready to waste your day with this creepily accurate text-generating A.I.

Remember the text-generating A.I. created by research lab OpenA.I. that was supposedly too dangerous to release to the public? Well, someone just released a version of it. Check it out.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Home Theater

What is Kodi? It’s the free media software that should have come with your TV

To take control of the movies, TV shows, and music in your personal collection, you need media center software like Kodi. It's free and turns your PC, TV, or tablet into a multimedia jukebox. Here's how to use it.

The top Wi-Fi extenders for improving your wireless signal at home or work

Your network is only as good as your Wi-Fi signal. In this guide we'll recommend to you five of the best Wi-Fi extenders to help boost your network, to make sure you have wireless signal everywhere in your home.
Emerging Tech

Think your kid might have an ear infection? This app can confirm it

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new A.I.-powered smartphone app that’s able to listen for ear infections with a high level of accuracy. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

San Francisco won the battle, but the war on facial-recognition has just begun

San Francisco has become the first city in America to ban facial recognition. Well, kind of. While the ruling only covers certain applications, it's nonetheless vitally important. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX calls off Starlink launch just 15 minutes before liftoff

High winds above Cape Canaveral on Wednesday night forced SpaceX to postpone the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in a mission that would have marked the first major deployment of the company’s Starlink internet satellites.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX scraps second effort to launch 60 Starlink satellites

Wednesday's planned SpaceX launch of 60 Starlink satellites was pushed back due to bad weather. Thursday's launch has also been postponed, so the company said it will try again next week.
Emerging Tech

UV-activated superglue could literally help to heal broken hearts

Scientists at China's Zhejiang University have developed a UV-activated adhesive glue that is capable of efficiently healing damage to organs, including the heart. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

USC’s penny-sized robotic bee is the most sci-fi thing you’ll see all week

Engineers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles have built a bee-inspired robot that weighs just 95 milligrams and is smaller than a penny. Check it out in action here.
Emerging Tech

Purdue’s robotic hummingbird is nearly as nimble as the real thing

A team of engineers in Purdue University’s Bio-Robotics Lab have developed an impressively agile flying robot, modeled after the hummingbird. Check it out in all its robotic hovering glory.
Emerging Tech

Watch this drone dodge an incoming soccer ball autonomously

Most drones aren't very good at avoiding incoming objects. But now a team from the University of Zurich has developed a drone which can dodge, swoop, and dive to avoid an incoming football.
Emerging Tech

Experts warn 5G could interfere with weather forecasts, reducing accuracy by 30%

Experts and officials have warned that interference from 5G wireless radios could seriously compromise the ability to forecast weather, including the prediction of extreme weather events like hurricanes.