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Hello Barbie Hologram is like Alexa but also an eternal prison

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Mattel’s Hello Barbie line is the company’s techiest endeavor. So far, the product suite consists of Hello Barbie herself, the smart Hello Barbie Dreamhouse, and now, Hello Barbie Hologram. Hello Barbie Hologram is designed to sit on a kid’s nightstand or around the house to extend playtime. Mattel introduced it at the New York City Toy Fair this past weekend. The idea is that kids want to know what Barbie is up to when she isn’t actively being played with, and the Hologram answers that question. (Spoiler alert: Barbie loves to dance.)

Hello Barbie Hologram doesn’t really do much other than look cool and accept a few voice commands. Kids can talk to her and ask her to set a reminder, like remind me tomorrow that it’s mom’s birthday, ask her to have a dance party, or change outfits / her complete appearance. The box also acts as a nightlight. But Barbie can’t conduct open web searches. She’s no Alexa. Really, Barbie is just a prisoner trapped in a box who dances for kids on demand.

Photo by Ashley Carman / The Verge

The tech inside is simple. There’s a screen on top of the box playing Barbie content onto an angled mirror below that creates a 3D-looking object. (This is also called the Pepper’s Ghost illusion.)

Ultimately, Hello Barbie Hologram is a fun gimmick that at least looks pretty, and I’m sure will blow kids’ minds. Although I don’t know, maybe this upcoming generation has really seen it all on YouTube. Hello Barbie Hologram will available in the fall with pricing still to be determined, although Mattel aims to have it cost less than $300.