Fisher-Price has seen the future of toys, and you probably can’t afford them.
The toy maker this week released a slick YouTube video (below) that shows parents and children of the future playing and learning with touch-sensitive high chairs, a 3D printer made out of thin glass, and books with animated pages.
In an interview with Co.design, a Fisher Price designer explained some of these fanciful kid gadgets. The high chairs include an intelligent “feeding tray,” which can identify food placed in front of a child and calculate how much of it he or she will eat based on age and weight. There’s also a smart measuring wall, which illuminates with height measurements when a kid stands next to it.
And of course, there are holograms. Many, many holograms. They’re the mobiles of the future, and kids can interact with them at the kitchen table, in the crib, and pretty much anywhere in between. For would-be parents concerned about the amount of screen time their kids will be exposed to, the mobiles seem a welcome alternative.
But if all of these toys look expensive, that’s because they are. Fisher-Price believes that even in a world where technology consistently becomes cheaper, there’s still a market for high-end smart toys.
“It’s all about the value,” Mark Zeller, the company’s head of design, told Co.Design. “We’re going to be pushing some of these price points, and if the retailers and trade say this is worth it, then why not? Because the value is there.”
The goal, according to Zeller, is to make toys that last, so parents will have to buy fewer gadgets. It’s unclear how they plan to get around the problem of technology obsolescence, though.
Also conspicuously absent from the video is any form of child’s wearable. Those devices—usually simpler versions of mainstream smartwatches—not only keep kids entertained with simple games, but can also alert parents to their location and monitor their health.