HYBRIDEX

A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

Furby (2012 Edition)

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ImageFurby is a furry, talking and moving electronic doll that answers to a host of voice commands. The 2012 edition introduces new features such as the ability to feed Furby by “flicking” different edibles towards it from an iDevice.  

The original Furby was equipped with robotic eyes and ears, simple sensors and the ability to speak. While already the 2005 Emtro-Tronic Furbies introduced increased facial emotions and voice recognition, the 2012 Furby takes the design even further by making Furby’s body more active, with the ability to wiggle its ears and dance. The classic white eyes have been replaced with LCDs widening Furby’s range of emotions and giving it a host of playful “eye graphics”. Like the first generation, Furby 2.0 has the ability to communicate with other Furbys. When Furby speaks and another one is nearby, it can discern the “Furbish” language and respond. It can also respond to human voices, and even pick up on tone.

The free Furby iOS app offers up a translator that will listen to its speech and offer its English equivalent. The app also features a dictionary and meals for Furby, which are served up by flicking them in its general direction. Unlike a Tamagotchi, Furby won’t die if you don’t feed it — though it may get cranky.

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Author: teehex

Heikki Tyni is a researcher for the Hybridex project at University of Tampere Gamelab. Into comics and old movies.

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