Smart dolls - from just a prank to reality

Smart dolls - from just a prank to reality
Danny and Jimmy unveiling the interactive smart dolls in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR- What started as just an April Fools' prank has pushed Danny Choo to come up with his own first line of 3D digitally printed smart dolls.

"When I posted about it online on April Fools' Day, it got the robotic industries and community in Japan excited. The posting about my project instantly went viral.

"From there, I chose to come up with my own smart dolls from scratch," Danny, who is the director of Culture Japan, said at the launch of its automatic and manual 3D smart dolls here yesterday.

Danny, 40, is the eldest son of Datuk Jimmy Choo - the famous shoe designer.

He said he was inspired by the doll culture in Japan and he would like to make it more accessible to others.

"It took me about a year to complete the doll. The whole production process was quite a handful as I had to look into several matters myself, including designing the face mask, the wig, frame, outer shell and logistics.

The automatic version of the smart dolls can be controlled via an android application.

The cute robotic vinyl doll can give the user Twitter and Facebook notifications just like any smartphone, teach Japanese or can be used as a GPS device. It is compatible with other downloadable add-ons from Google Play.

The 60cm doll will also be equipped with a system of 24 motors that moves its limbs.

Danny said that the first manual version of the smart dolls was expected to be out in the market by March next year.

It would be introduced first in Malaysia, he said, estimating that it could cost about RM1,900.

He revealed that he would be collaborating with his father in designing the shoes and bags for the 3D dolls.

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