Why Google Might Be Getting Into the Teddy Bear Business

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Why Google Might Be Getting Into the Teddy Bear Business
Image credit: natybpaiva | Foap.com
Former West Coast Editor
3 min read

Google is already all up in our business. The data-hungry tech titan has mined private info from Gmail accounts, snatched passwords from unsuspecting computer users and now it wants to put a wired teddy bear in our homes that sees and hears everything we do and say.

No, we’re not talking about Google Panda. Apparently that was a joke the tech titan pulled last April Fool’s Day. This bear, which Google has freshly patented, is not a joke. The patent, filed back in 2012 and greenlighted just last week, describes an “anthropomorphic device” that could take the shape of a “doll or toy that resembles a human, an animal, a mythical creature or an inanimate object.”

Related: Google Granted Patent for Airbags That Deploy on the Outside of Self-Driving Cars

Image credit: Google

Illustrations in the patent show cute yet creepy rabbit and teddy bear toy designs. The gizmos are equipped with microphones in their ears, cameras in their eyes, motors in their heads and speakers in their mouths. Because all of that isn’t freaky enough, the animated stuffed animal concepts appear as though they’ll be able to turn their motorized, sensor-stacked heads toward people who speak them.

The teddy bear, evocative of Teddy from Steven Spielberg’s 2001 sci-fi flick A.I. Artificial Intelligence, can also “wiggle its ears and nose, wink, and twitch its tail, all of which to fuel your nightmares,” reports The Daily Dot. Nightmares indeed.

The patent, one of the weirdest from Google yet, states that the devices could be configured to control one or more media devices via “social cues,” such as “movement and/or a spoken word or phrase.” Perhaps the creepiest bit is that the voice command cyborg playthings would also follow your eyes with theirs.  

Related: Google Fails to Dismiss Privacy Lawsuit Over Google Wallet

Remember, just because a patent has been filed for something doesn’t mean anything will come of it. And, for its part, Google says merely filing a patent application for these furry connected toys doesn’t mean it will ever build and market them. "We hold patents on a variety of ideas -- some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don't," the search giant told CNNMoney.

While Google plays coy about its Siri-like connected home device plans, Amazon has already beat it to the punch with the anything-but-cuddly Amazon Echo.

We wonder if Google Panda wasn't a gag after all. Perhaps it was Google's quirky way of warming us up to a snuggly, sinister future product line.

Related: How to Make Sure Your Gmail is as Secure as Possible

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.