As your child grows older, Aristotle will adapt and offer new services. It can tell bedtime stories and play basic spelling games for toddlers. When they're a youngster, it can help them with homework by retrieving information from the web. The speaker includes some basic games too, which can be used just for fun or to teach kids important skills.
Aristotle, as its name suggests, is supposed to be the descendent of the famous Greek philosopher. She sounds like a chipper twenty-something, though occasionally sounds like Microsoft's Cortana. This is because Microsoft is indeed helping out with some of the platform's smarts: Aristotle has a finite bank of stock phrases, while Cortana can say almost anything by stringing together individual words and sentences.
At the end of the demonstration, I tried talking to Aristotle. Unfortunately, it was maddeningly slow and inconsistent. On my first attempt, I had to say "Aristotle" three times before it acknowledged me. I then said "story time" to trigger a short audiobook, and managed to activate it once in the space of five minutes. Not promising, to say the least. Mattel blamed the hotel room's weak Wi-Fi connection, and I suggested that it could be my strange British accent. Regardless, the final product will need to do better to understand an emotional or impatient pre-schooler. The company has until June, when the speaker and camera combo kit goes on sale for $300.
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