Mat­tel can­cels kids’ smart de­vice

The Week (US) - - 18 News -

Mat­tel has aban­doned plans to re­lease a smart de­vice for chil­dren after an out­cry over pri­vacy, said Rachel Rabkin Peach­man in The New York Times. Aris­to­tle was billed as a unique, voice-ac­ti­vated smart prod­uct that com­forted, en­ter­tained, and taught kids from in­fancy to ado­les­cence—sooth­ing a cry­ing baby, teach­ing the ABC’s, and help­ing kids with home­work. But child ad­vo­cacy groups and par­ents launched a cam­paign this spring to block Aris­to­tle’s re­lease, ar­gu­ing that the prod­uct’s mi­cro­phone and cam­era could mon­i­tor a child’s bed­room and col­lect data for mar­ket­ing pur­poses. They also ar­gued that “ba­bies and older chil­dren shouldn’t be en­cour­aged to form bonds with data-col­lect­ing de­vices.” A Mat­tel spokesman said that the de­ci­sion not to bring Aris­to­tle to mar­ket “was prompted by new lead­er­ship in the com­pany.” on the West Coast and will be ex­panded next year. It in­volves goods sold on Ama­ by third-party mer­chants; the de­liv­ery of those or­ders is typ­i­cally han­dled by UPS and FedEx, but Ama­zon would now han­dle ware­house pickup and de­liv­ery. “The project un­der­scores Ama­zon’s am­bi­tions to ex­pand its lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tions and wean it­self off the de­liv­ery net­works of UPS and FedEx.”

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