5/17/2004 - Shrek II hits the theaters on May 19th, and along with it will be plush toy character versions of Shrek and Donkey that can talk and hear. These intelligent interactive figures come by way of toy stores and mass marketers like Walmart and Costco through the work of toy giant Hasbro, and Sensory, Inc., the world leader in embedded speech technologies.
Sensory & Hasbro Team Up for Shrek
Sensory has spent the last 10 years creating chips that can talk and hear for embedding into low cost consumer products and toys. Hasbro has extensive experience with speech technologies, and decided it was time to analyze the offerings from all the top speech recognition vendors in a "shoot-out" to find the best vendors for the Shrek and Donkey characters. Hasbro selected Sensory for its low cost, high quality, and the ease and speed of development. "The voice recognition technology from Sensory Inc. was an ideal application for Hasbro to use when creating the WISE CRACKIN' SHREK and WISE CRACKIN' DONKEY plush toys," said Todd Rywolt, vice president of marketing for Hasbro, Inc. "Sensory's technology allows the funny characterizations of America's favorite ogre SHREK and his hilarious sidekick DONKEY to come to life." The toys retail for about $29.95.
How it Works
The Shrek and Donkey characters can be spoken to, and they respond in an intelligent way to a range of predefined questions. The conversation sequence is "triggered" by an opening word that the character is listening for. Say "Hey Shrek", and he replies with a random response. The user can then ask a question like "Are you hungry?", and Shrek burps and says "Better out than in I always say." The characters have the same wisecracking personalities and voices as those on-screen, so the interactivity makes it funny and uncannily realistic at the same time. Both Shrek and Donkey use Sensory's latest integrated speech chip, the RSC-4128. This chip has everything embedded into it including RAM, ROM, processor, CODEC, and filtering to create a general purpose micro controller that can talk and hear.
About Sensory, Inc.
Sensory, Inc. is the world leader in embedded speech technologies. Sensory's speech technologies include speech recognition, speaker verification, speech synthesis, and animated speech, and are used in consumer electronics, cell phones, PDA's, Internet appliances, interactive toys, automobiles, and other applications where low cost and high quality is essential. Sensory offers a complete line of integrated circuit and embedded software solutions to customers such as Avon, Fisher-Price, Hasbro, IDT, JVC, Kenwood, Matsushita, Mattel, MGA, Mitsubishi, Radica, Sega, Sharper Image, Sony, Tektronix, Toshiba, Uniden, and VOS. Sensory was founded in 1994 and is based in Santa Clara, California. More information is available from Sensory's web site at www.sensoryinc.com
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