30
May
2013-05-30_19h00_33

I don't have kids, so it's entirely possible I don't "get it." By "it" I mean this freaky robot teddy bear that sends and receives text messages because 2005 still had one more horror movie on its to-do list that it forgot to tell us about. That's what MessagePetz are. They're teddy bears that have a cold, black screen with bright blue LEDs shoved into their torsos.

Of course, maybe I'm being too hard on this thing. After all, aside from the gaping chest cavity and surgically-enhanced cyborg parts, this thing is kind of cute! How does it work? Well, you see, mommy sends a text message to the bear, which is then displayed on its chest. Neat! Long-distance communication for kids too young to have smartphones. Well, how do they reply? With hugging, of course! The child hugs the bear and a message is sent to the parents that says "You have received a hug!" Which sets a new record for the least personal, meaningful, and heart-warming interaction since man first communicated over long-distances by throwing rocks at each others' heads.

If you are always on the go and would love it if your child had a half-cuddly, half-robot thing that you can send messages at, then you should probably contribute to this Kickstarter. It's currently just under $5,000 of its $45,000 goal, which makes no sense. Who wouldn't want the soulless embodiment of cold, technological distance and impersonal communication?  It's so cuuuuuuuute!

Source: Kickstarter

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Goldenpins

    "I mean this freaky robot teddy bear that sends and receives text messages"

    snip

    "They're teddy bears that have a cold, black screen with bright blue LEDs shoved into their torsos."

    snip.

    Eric, I like your articles but it sounds like your making into a Chucky film.lol.. I will agree that the sample video makes it look like a B rated murder film. I see it as a cheap way to stay in contact without buying your kid a smartphone or calling.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Just because I have a screenplay that I'm shopping around Hollywood doesn't mean I have any particular bias towards horror movies!

      Also, on the more practical side, I see exactly zero benefits to this over that Dad using his own phone to field texts from mommy dearest. Sure, you can't hug dad's smartphone, but I imagine the kid might enjoy hugging a stuffed animal that doesn't have a giant block of plastic and metal in it more. Also, maybe I'm cynical but I imagine it'd be pretty easy for mommy to get jaded when no matter what message she sends, all she gets in return is "You have been hugged." That could just as easily happen when daddy steps on teddy as he leaves the kids room to grab a beer and pass out in front of the TV after jerking off to a Girl's Gone Wild commercial.

      I kid, but really, I think this is a dumb product that doesn't enhance communications at all. It would be 100x more meaningful and connective for the dad to pull out his smartphone and get on a video call to tell mommy good night. This just seems like cheap, lazy parenting that gets a pass because 90% of it looks like a cute teddy bear.

      • Goldenpins

        I don't have any kids. I just see this as a basic form of staying in contact. A quick hi, be home soon, just wanted to say I love you and miss you etc without going for a full priced cellphone and tablet or have the kid glued to his notebook or PC.

        Video call is spotty, and sometimes one persons location is not the best. The chances of having a solid connection relies on both parties that can coordinate. A text message has an upper hand of being quick and tends to work on even spotty connections. A text message LED on the back of a teddy bear is not lazy parenting.Thats the same as me saying a video call, FB, G+ and email are lazy ways to stay in contact because i'm not physically there.

        Many non-tech generations don't consider any of those services like sending someone a message as good as old fashioned snail mail or being there in person.I know a few families who bought there kids a Nexus 7 3G or basic laptop just to email them when there working, Just like that video. Father is a mechanic under cars most the time, and the mother is a psychologist dealing with patients. Not everyone can just get away at work for a quick call unless there on break.

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    It seems like a pretty good idea actually - it's a shame more people aren't buying into it.

  • ScottColbert

    Maybe it's because I'm a horror writer, but I'd be sending messages like, "Don't look under the bed!"

  • Jav11 .

    hope its not TED come to life that guy is nasty...

  • Stephen

    This must be how they create it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdYaTa_lOf4

  • james kendall

    what could possibly go wrong. Sarcasm

  • Caro

    I love it, It seems cute, just another way to make better telecomunications! Let see the real effects.

  • itsgonnalast

    Petz with a Z

  • danifeb

    Oh come on! WTF!?

  • Roger S

    Once I get past the irritating Z in the name and watch the video I'm totally confused. Why is the video a highly produced pharmaceutical commercial and not a video of the developers explaining to us why we should back their kickstarter and showing us what the product will actually look like when it ships? Or are they actually sending a block of plastic with glowing blue letters? Luckily kids don't know anything about technology, so they will certainly be interested in a plush toy jammed with crappy looking electronics from the mid-80s.

    • Reginald B.

      Ya, there's something strange about this kickstarter... crazy nice website, super high quality commercial, and a prototype teddybear that looks like a middle school science fair project. They're going from Arduino to Linux in one revision? What about that toy suggests it needs a high power computer? Seriously not buying it.

  • Thatguyfromvienna

    If a child is old enough to read, it shouldn't be scared of monsters under the bed anymore.

    • Mr E

      i'm a grown man and have to admit i find this cyborg murder bear a little creepy

  • Jose Torres

    The title of this article is hilarious, the bear...not so much.

  • JimX

    I used to travel 90% of the time when my kids were the age of the kid shown on the video, you MUST have kids to really understand the concept behind this product, I wish the product had existed back then.

    If you do not have kids you are not able to understand it (having nephews doesn´t count) gotta be yours to feel it and experience the stress of being away from home.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonardob0880 Leonardo Baez

      message petz helping parents to not feel guilty since 2013

  • John O’Connor

    I can recall a time when everyone wanted a chucky doll

  • Abraham H. Palma

    Oh Cammon!!!!
    This toy is not just for kids, it's for teenagers in love, it is a good idea to tell someone any kitsch.

  • PM

    I think it could work in reverse, too. Kids could send a message to GrandMa or GrandPa, who might be isolated or lonely and not tech-savvy. Hearing from grandkids could be something to look forward to for them.

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