Story Labs Research: Near Future Toys & Hacking Ruxpin

Over the last week we’ve been researching on the subject of our hypothesis about APIs in children’s stuffed animal toys. The trends of interactive customizable talking toys are well established, with Teddy Ruxpin blazing the trail over 20 years ago with his analog cassette-tape system. Geofencing may add a strange twist, with the current consumer geofencing applications in surveillance, logistics and tracking – precious little to do with toys. We enjoy the experiment of combining these technologies in the premise of our design fiction to see what creative result emerges.

Meanwhile our friends from the Philter Factory have been on a parallel thread, investigating the ambiguous lives of Skype chatbots on Twitter in the Philter Phactory Bar; a live radio speakeasy of the tiny web run by The Landlord (@lndlrd) – incorporating Github, Skype, Twitter and Teddy Ruxpin. The hacking experiments from Bar Phellow @shardcore on Mr. Ruxpin are a vision of a near-future of troublemaking toys with only slightly sinister overtones

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It’s encouraging to see parallel developments and trains of thought converge on these subjects and we’re cheering for the Phactory Phellows “Voices of the Tiny Web” SXSW panel proposition. You can vote to bring these chaps to Austin but you can also see them discuss the future of infomorphs and the story of the Philter Phactory Bar next week at Campus Party Berlin!

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