The addictive 1990s toy Tamagotchi gets a 21st-century makeover.
Today’s modern Tamagotchi takes a cue from the Internet of Things and now supports interlinking one’s digital pet with a friend’s. By bumping the two toys together, this latest generation of Tamagotchis will prompt an exchange of data.
Besides, the Tamagotchi Friends Digital Friend takes advantage of the increasing capacity of modern data chips to include “five fun games” one can now play with a pet.
The interlink lends itself to a host of new activities for Tamagotchi play, including playdates, “friendship meters,” and even sending text messages from one toy to another. Maybe if your ‘90s Tamagotchi had done all that, it wouldn’t have met its untimely digital death only a few weeks after you convinced your parents to buy it for you.
The Tamagotchi was created in Japan by Akihiro Yokoi of WiZ and Aki Maita of Bandai, a Japanese toy making and video game company, in 1996. Within seven months of Bandai exporting the toy to the United States, the company earned $150 million in retail sales.
At the moment retailing at $19.50, it’s a pastel pink impulse buy for kids and kids at heart. Even if it doesn’t spark a new craze, it will certainly appeal to adults who remember the old one.
Furthermore, the Internet of Things products can help firefighters to operate effectively, saving lives and limiting the damages to the building.
In 2013 alone, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association, 1,240,000 fires were reported in the U.S., which caused the death of 3,240 civilians and $11.5 billion in property damage.
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Fire Protection Research Foundation believe that at least part of this heavy toll could be reduced, if fire brigades could base their decisions on the data systematically and scientifically collected on the scene.
“Today there is significant variety to the information accessible by fire brigades, and great potential as the Internet of Things continues to proliferate. Real-time information will greatly assist emergency responder situational awareness, which is especially critical during an event when time is precious,” said the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s executive director Casey Grant.
For instance, Drones are already deployed for monitoring wildfire events; in the future, thanks to technological improvements they could also be employed indoor. Robots, equipped with a wide array of chemical sensors, on-board cameras, and lasers, will be used to gather data in risky environments, where humans fear to thread.