Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Yumel, Tomy’s doll for the elderly

Since they’re having trouble finding enough kids in Japan to sell their creepy lifelike robotic dolls to, toymakers there have started going after another demo: the elderly. Tomy is coming out with the Yumel, a “healing partner” with a vocabulary of 1,200 phrases that sells for 8,500 yen and is designed to keep you company. It’ll greet you when you wake up in the morning—it has six built-in sensors for keep tracking of its owner’s sleeping patterns—but the downside is that if you start raging all night or oversleeping or ignoring it or whatever the doll will ask you if you’re pushing yourself too hard. And if you treat it right? The Yumel will sing you songs and harrass you into buying it presents. That’s win/win people.

Talk about marketing to your demographics!

No! I don't want one.

Hat Tip: Engadget

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