9/9/2005 - There is a new wave of interactive toys ready to explode on the marketplace this fall, and they are arriving just in the nick of time for the holiday buying season. If it talks, hears and "understands" you, it is probably using an integrated circuit developed by Sensory, Inc., a Silicon Valley innovative force with over ten years experience in designing low-cost speech technologies into consumer electronics. Featuring highly accurate voice recognition, speech synthesis and command and control capability, Sensory's RSC-4128 integrated circuit is being utilized as the main brain unit for a new generation of low-priced interactive consumer products.
New FURBY Features Single Processor for all Advanced Functions
One of the best selling toys of all time, with 40 million units sold, is back! Hasbro, Inc.'s [NYSE:HAS] Tiger Electronics division has developed an all-new FURBY creature that has been engineered with Sensory's RSC-4128 microcontroller providing the brains necessary for its many advanced new functions. Todd Mozer, CEO of Sensory notes "The newly-released FURBY creature uses the RSC-4128 as a complete single-chip solution providing all hearing, talking and CPU functions." The new FURBY is larger and uses 6 times more memory than its predecessor, allowing for complex motor controls (dancing, expressive eyes and moving ears), multiple sensors (tilt, tickling, petting and feeding), and advanced multilingual speech capabilities (talking and hearing). Most importantly, all of its brains are located on a single chip, which keeps the cost of a new FURBY under approximately $40 at retail.
EMOTO-TRONICS Showcases Multilingual Speech Recognition
Using a technology designed by Hasbro called EMOTO-TRONICS, the evolved FURBY creature displays many new personality characteristics that will make it more lifelike and globally loved than ever. "Because of advances in technology, we have been able to make the new FURBY with many of the features that we had wanted to put in the original but could not because of cost," said Leif Askeland, Vice President of Engineering and Technology Development for Hasbro. "Thanks to Sensory's cutting-edge ICs and speech technologies, the new FURBY creature can actually listen to what you say and respond in a very vibrant fashion."
The new FURBY creature "understands" requests to sing a favorite song, tell jokes, dance and play interactive games. It can also communicate with children and other FURBY creatures using human languages, as well as its native "Furbish," making it a uniquely multilingual product.
Speech Capabilities Made Possible by Sensory's Quick T2SI(TM)
The new FURBY creatures' speech capabilities were developed using Sensory's Quick Text to Speaker Independent(TM) (Quick T2SI) recognition technology, which allows vocabularies in multiple languages to be built for an RSC-4128-enabled product using text models that can be fine-tuned for a particular dialect, including invented ones like "Furbish." The command words are referred to as speaker independent - they work with any speaker (male, female, child or adult) in a given language, and they even recognize different accents, such as the difference between American and British English. Hasbro's new FURBY creature is currently available in the US. and will be rolling out across the globe throughout the early fall. In addition to English, versions will be available that also speak Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Japanese and Italian. According to Mr. Mozer, "The new Sensory-energized FURBY creatures promise to set a new standard for realistic, low-cost interactive toys around the globe."
About Sensory, Inc.
Sensory, Inc., (www.sensoryinc.com) based in Santa Clara, CA, is the world leader in embedded speech technologies. Sensory is a profitable private company offering a complete line of IC and software-only solutions for speech recognition, speech synthesis, speaker verification, music synthesis and more. The company's products are widely deployed in consumer electronics applications including telephones, home automation, toys, remote controls, automotive, security, and learning aids. Sensory's customers represent the leaders in consumer electronics, including such companies as Hasbro, JVC, Kenwood, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Uniden and Sony. Additional Sensory offices are located in Portland, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Vienna.
About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the US., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.
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