Google to Bring ‘Ted’ to Life! Well, Almost.

Ted the talking teddy bear won the hearts of many in his 2012 release due to his foul mouth, Bostonian humor, believe that or not. Just when Ted fans thought they struck gold with ‘Ted 2’ set to release late June 2015, Google has taken it upon themselves to bring ‘Ted’ to life! Well, almost.

Google recently released their patent for a teddy bear remote. I know what you are thinking, what’s the big deal? Let me explain further.

The Google teddy will have sensors that will sense the presence of someone in the same room and turn toward the person, then allowing him or her to make a command to control the television. The bear will be able to speak, take commands, turn its head, and will have a camera.

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While some may find this a sweet gesture and fun technological twist, let us consider the harsh realities of the stuffed bushy tail.

Close your eyes and imagine it. You walk in the door from a long day at work, flip on the light switch and walk towards the bedroom to set your things down. Just as the heels of your designer shoes clink against the hard floor of your Los Angeles loft, a gentle, not-so-human, or friendly, for that matter, voice greets you, “Hello, welcome home;” a monotone voice has never sounded so scary. Startled, the dog barks and you have to catch your heart that has nearly beat its way out of your chest and across the room. Just as this all happens in a nanosecond, you remember it is simply your Google teddy.

Catching your breath and realizing you will not be kidnapped or killed by the Russian mob, angry neighbor, or your ex-significant other, the Google teddy’s head follows you as the clinking continues down the hallway. You pause and request the television to be turned to Sports Center.

While you are less likely to lose your remote, there is the creepy factor when thinking of your Google teddy. And unless teddy bears are about to make a big come back in the home décor world, it is not likely many would want the teddy sitting on their coffee or end table.

Additionally, while, yes, all of our minds have shot clear down to the future of the Google teddy where ‘Ted’ is actually brought to life, and like Mark Wahlberg, we all have a teddy bear to go through life with that we love, regardless that he says what we are thinking with utmost vulgarity, like many inventions, just because Google has the patent, does not mean the teddy remote will actually be made.

References:

Tech Desk. (2015, May 24). Google patent reveals that your teddy bear could turn into a remote. Retrieved from http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-news-technology/google-patent-reveals-that-the-company-has-plans-for-your-teddy-bear/

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7 Responses to Google to Bring ‘Ted’ to Life! Well, Almost.

  1. Brittani says:

    Yea, I’m not a fan of this idea in any way! Aside from the creep factor like you mentioned, there seems to be a “Big Brother” factor that they’ve yet to consider. If Facebook can claim rights to all the photos on their platform, and if Google can customize the ads you receive based on your search history, what’s to say that they cannot utilize the video feed from this teddy bear? I’ve heard of people putting tape over their camera’s on the laptop to ensure that no one can turn on their camera. What’s to stop someone from the deep web from hacking into your teddy bear remote control and stream footage live via the video feed?

    I wonder how they will market the benefits of this remote over the “creep” factor. It seems to have more cons than pros.

  2. Lisa says:

    I fell in love with the movie “Ted” primarily due to the tone and style of Ted’s voice (that Bostonian accent). For the remote to be successful it would have to have something similar, which is probably a patent or trademark in itself. That then gets into another question which is trademark law. I can never understand how AOL could trademark the sound/phrase “You’ve got mail” yet I battle with the corporate legal department over product name trademarking! Anyway, back to Ted’s voice. In the week we watched the “Pitch” episodes, we discovered that the tonality of the pitch is a 38% contributor to it’s overall success (Coughter, 2012). In this case, the Google remote, like Coughter (2012) says, is always presenting. I wonder if he knows any stories?

    References:
    Coughter, P. (2012). The art of the pitch: Persuasion and presentation skills that win business. Palgrave Macmillan.

  3. Anthony says:

    Brittani has touched on a pivotal point that is seemingly growing at an exponential rate in the United States due in part to technology, and that is the invasion of privacy. Having the technology to build a robotic teddy bear with voice commands, motion sensors, etc. is an interesting bit of information, however, I am not that stunned that some company out there wasn’t already doing this. The fact that Google has retained the patent rights is of little surprise, what I am worried about is all the underlying implications of possibly creating this teddy bear.

    In an age where corporations and advertising firms are attempting to gain as much knowledge about consumers as possible, we as consumers must be cautious as to what information we are releasing out on the Internet, not just for companies such as Facebook and Google to see, but also the government and cyber criminals who can easily steal your personal identity (Sullivan, 2000). In this particular case, what aren’t the consumers being told about this remote control teddy bear? Will this Google teddy record data on what shows you specifically watch, as well as what you say so Google can somehow sync up this information to your other devices in catering specific content straight to you. Will anything you say or do be documented and if so will it be for Google’s use? There are so many questions that come about with new technology such as this that many consumers don’t realize. Almost anything you do now on the computer, cell phone, tablet, even television is documented. Consumers are usually never told regarding the motives of such action, which is beginning to lead to increased privacy concerns amongst advocates for increased regulation and laws.

    The fact that many privacy protections are slipping or aren’t being constantly upgraded is a real concern amongst e-commerce sites and other technologies (Sullivan, 2000). This whole paranoia is creating a sense of unease amongst consumers that don’t have that guarantee of safety anymore. I think there are more concerns with the remote teddy bear than actual benefits, and Google will have a tough time trying to sell this item if it doesn’t address privacy concerns up front.

    Sullivan, B. (2000, November 17). Online privacy fears are real. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3078835/t/online-privacy-fears-are-real/#.VWTSP85MPTE

  4. Rebecca says:

    Eeekkk!!! Honestly, I was never a fan of the rude, vulgar bear. After reading your fantastical and creepy storytelling, I don’t think I will ever change my mind.

    Bad enough we are being monitored and watched by “Big Brother”, have spider technology to track our online searches and buying trends… now we have a chance that a creepy, Chucky-like, stuffed bear could have control to turn on our television. Well, lets hope this one’s just imagination and never comes to fruition.

    Thanks!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Christin,

    Although this seems to be an idea conjured out of fun, there are a lot of concerns that inevitably follow this idea.

    For instance, as Brittani said, there is a “big brother” element to this. This bear idea could draw concern about who is watching behind the bear lens. If Google has control over this bear’s activity, who knows what this bear, or device, can potentially get access to and what it could be recording without our consent. I read an article a few years ago about how online predators have the capability to hack home webcams and spy on people. If I have a bear greeting me at any time (and it’s not under my control because I did not flip on the “on-off” switch), then I would be in for one real good horror movie.

    Here’s the link to an article similar to what I read in the past about online predators:

    http://www.today.com/news/webcam-hackers-can-spy-you-secret-1C8095607

    Jennifer Calderon

  6. Jennifer says:

    Christin,

    Although this seems to be an idea conjured out of fun, there are a lot of concerns that inevitably follow this idea.

    For instance, as Brittani said, there is a “big brother” element to this. This bear idea could draw concern about who is watching behind the bear lens. If Google has control over this bear’s activity, who knows what this bear, or device, can potentially get access to and what it could be recording without our consent. I read an article a few years ago about how online predators have the capability to hack home webcams and spy on people. If I have a bear greeting me at any time (and it’s not under my control because I did not flip the “on-off” switch), then I would be in for one real good horror movie.

    Here’s the link to an article similar to what I read in the past about online predators:

    http://www.today.com/news/webcam-hackers-can-spy-you-secret-1C8095607

    Jennifer Calderon

  7. Marjon says:

    This is definitely a risky good idea. This type of product would have to have a solid primary target audience. Would it be adults or children? The movie was a great hit but would a real live Ted be acceptable? There could also be major quality issues associated with this product. I am surprise would even entertain an idea like this. This could definitely jeopardize their brand and reputation if it is a failure.