TOY FOR THE ELDERLY
Giant toy company Hasbro has already conquered the most important demographics: Kids, teenagers, and even (to a certain degree) adults. Now, it is reaching out to the other end of the consumer spectrum - seniors. The company's new "Joy For All" toy line is targeted at the elderly and it features robotic companion pets that come with none of the negatives that are associated with living pets.
They don't require feeding, bathroom breaks, or outside walks. There will also be absolutely no broken items at home, despite your new Fido. And also no scratches on walls or furniture. No mess whatsoever, in fact. It only needs affection...and four C-sized batteries. Well, technically, it doesn't need the affection. Really, just the batteries.
The first animal in the Joy For All line is the Companion Pet Cat, now available for $99. It may sound expensive, but keep in mind that you won't have to get the little guy (or girl?) fixed. It also won't need any shots. The lifelike feline, which comes in three varieties, is packed with motion and light sensors. These allow it to realistically respond to being petted, held, and hugged. Though Hasbro hasn’t divulged much detail on how it works, the cat (apparently) is fitted with a new vibration technology, which enables it to generate responsive purrs that sound and feel quite realistic.
Of course, it more than just purrs.
Pet the cat on the head and it will automatically move its little robot head towards your hand, while a continuous pet on its back will eventually make it roll over for you to give it a belly rub. The toy includes a set of four batteries but there is no information on how long those will last on the companion cat. However, there is a "stand-by" mode - leave it alone for a few minutes and it will automatically close its eyes and fall asleep to help extend battery life.
This may go without saying, but like normal cats, this tiny creature doesn't really like water (robots + water = bad).
Robotic cats. Welcome to the future.