Hasbro, the toy company typically associated with plastic ponies and other goods intended for children, has decided to enter the older portion of the market with its Joy for All line of companion pets for seniors.
The previous line may sound perfectly mundane, but the basic gist of this is that Hasbro is officially producing robotic cats to help lonely elderly.
Here's how Hasbro describes the new venture:
We believe that the power of play can bring joy to people at all stages of life, and we've heard from our friends, fans, and consumers that some of our toys and games are especially appealing to seniors and enhance meaningful interactions with their loved ones.
These foundational insights inspired us to create HASBRO'S JOY FOR ALL products, beginning with JOY FOR ALL Companion Pets, which have been carefully adapted to inspire delight, companionship, and engagement for all generations.
The cats are available now and come in three different versions—Orange Tabby, Silver, and Creamy White—for $99.99 each. The semi-lifelike kitties come with built-in touch and motion sensors so that they can react to both by purring, nuzzling, or rolling onto their back. It's basically an elaborate Furby with fur that's most likely softer and better. They even include something called "VibraPurr" which, one assumes based on the name, both vibrates and purrs. The only downside really is that the cat takes 4 C batteries to run.
Though this whole thing might sound ludicrous, therapeutic companion robots aren't exactly new. PARO, for example, is a robotic seal from Japan used for animal therapy in places where live critters aren't exactly favorable, like hospitals. The idea is that these little robotic companions can provide a noticeable psychological effect on folks while lowering their stress and providing, well, companionship.
It's unclear what else might be coming down the Joy for All pipeline, but the tagline of "Why should kids have all the fun?" seems to indicate that there's going to be a whole mess of stuff eventually. For now, folks 5 to 105 will just have to settle for ridiculously adorable robot cats that purr and nuzzle and I think I've just convinced myself that this is a great idea and everyone should get one.
Source: Joy for All