Google Now

ToyTalk Working on Wi-Fi Barbie Doll

Hello Barbie

Episode 1174

ToyTalk, a company that creates conversational characters for kids, is working on a Wi-Fi Barbie Doll that can analyze a child's speech and produce relevant responses. This will actually be able to talk to kids. This means that increasingly, children will be expecting their devices to talk back to them. This all started with Apple's Siri and Google Now, along with Microsoft's Cortana, which all respond to you.

ToyTalk says that 'Hello Barbie,' coming out this Fall, will have thousands of things to say and kids will be able to talk to her for hours.

Is Google Now violating my privacy?

Motorola Moto X

Episode 1069

Neil from Sulfur, OK

Neil got the Motorola Moto X and he loves it. Leo says that from a functional point of view, it's a great phone. The voice controls are great. Neil says that the Google Now's capability of always listening freaks him out, though. Leo says that there's no worry about that. It's very passive. It's not sending what he's saying up to the server, that would be crazy. It just listens for him to say "OK Google Now." When it gets that, it knows to wake up.

Why did voice commands stop working on my Android phone?

Episode 1060

Dave from Hamilton, MT

Dave has a Motorola Razr M and he got a new bluetooth headset, but one day it just stopped working with voice command. Leo says to look into the Android settings. There should be an option that says "ignore voice command," which could be enabled. He should also check Google Now. Leo says it's likely Android got updated and now he probably has to opt into Google Now to make it work.

How can I handle foreign languages when traveling?

Episode 1021

Patrick from San Bernadino, CA

Patrick wants to know how Leo handled foreign countries where they spoke a different language. Leo says that in most places, people did speak English. Wherever they didn't, Leo used Google Now's Translate capability on his Motorola Moto X which worked quite well. People were intrigued about it, too. When they spoke back, that was a challenge because it doesn't help the other way. Leo says we're going to get there soon.

How good are accessibility features in smartphones?

Episode 1012

Aaron from Albany, OR

Aaron has a friend who needs to be totally reliant on voice command. Is there a smartphone that can do that? Leo says that the main issue is apps, and using apps require touch. He could use the Motorola Moto-X with Google Now, but it'll be limited.

Leo recommends contacting the Foundation for the Blind, an independent living resource center. He could also try Lighthouse for the Blind. They're really good at customizing the technology for the need. Doctor Mom in the ChatRoom recommends HelenKeller.org.

Google Announces Their First Motorola Branded Phone

Episode 997

The "Moto X" will be the name of Google's first Android phone under the Motorola Brand since Google bought the company. The Moto X will be built in Fort Worth, TX, which will not only allow them to customize the phone's interface faster, but it will also circumvent the ban on Motorola phones as per the legal decision which would require all Motorola imports be turned away by the International Trade Commission.

'Google Now' and 'Google Glass' Bring the Future Closer

Episode 980

Leo discusses the privacy issues at hand with Google's new wearable Glass device. Essentially, everyone wearing Glass has a camera on their head and can take pictures at any time without anyone else knowing.

Leo also shows off Google Now, which was recently included on iOS within their Google search app. Google Now has been on Android for awhile as well, and it aims to predict what the user wants before they even go look for it. It's impressive, but again, is it too creepy?