Facing an era of digital education BY CHIHO KOMORIYA
Facing an era of digital education
BY CHIHO KOMORIYA
JUN 24, 2018
The International Tokyo Toy Show is often a good place to spot new gadgets and this year was no exception. On: Tech takes a look at a couple of toys showcased at the trade show this month, and some ideas of how technology can help educate children.
‘Pika-chu, pika-pi, pika-pika-chu’
Takara Tomy has transformed one of Japan’s most famous characters into a tiny pet robot. HelloPika is a pocket-sized toy that responds to speech with various actions that include nodding, shaking its head, lighting up at the cheeks and replying “pika-pika,” “pika-chu,” “pika-pi” and other “pika” words. Don’t expect to understand it — it won’t speak English or Japanese. But it will turn toward you when spoken to and has a “pika” answer for everything. It also laughs when tickled, snores when sleeping and can be clipped to pockets for those who don’t want to part with it.
HelloPika may not be the most useful toy, but it’s incredibly cute and at the International Tokyo Toy Show the Takara Tomy booth, visitors were quick to coo “kawaii” at a table full of them chattering away. It will be priced at ¥3,229, runs on two AAA batteries and will be released on Aug. 4, with planned launches in nine other countries, including Korea, China, Singapore and Thailand. “Pika” is, after all, a universal language — even if it doesn’t make much sense.