Smart Toys

Play with them. Don’t let them play with you.

The toy industry has also embraced the IoT. There are now “smart” dolls, interactive tablets, drones that can be controlled via the Internet or even connected soft toys. The connected toy is a hybrid creature that sits between the toy and the communication tool. With a direct or indirect connection to the Internet, it is much more than an electronic game. It is a communicative object intended for young audiences.

Most connected toys have interactive functions: they can ask or answer questions and even lead fun activities. Children can, therefore, interact with the toy almost autonomously.

The quality and reliability of a smart toy mainly depend on three factors:

  1. Its quality of manufacture and its solidity: a toy, by definition, can be abused. It must, therefore, withstand shocks.
  2. Its psycho-educational qualities: is it really suitable for the child’s age? Does it use adapted teaching methods? Is it suitable for sharing or group play? Isn’t it addictive? So many questions that every parent should ask themselves before buying a toy for their child…
  3. The security of its connected functions and the data it is intended to collect

It is only this third aspect that we analyse here, but the first two are not negligible either…

Picto SmartToys with a teaser: Teddy loves to see you, hear you, you…

There is a wide variety of connected toys with very different functionalities. We can group them into the following categories:

  1. Virtual companions (“intelligent” dolls or soft toys)
  2. Communicating toys (playful versions of our tablets and smartphones)
  3. Spy toys (allowing parents to monitor and locate their children)
  4. Drones
  5. Social toys (allowing to play with other users, remotely)
  6. Evolving toys (with very large potential, but often with hidden costs)
  7. Virtual reality
  8. Educational toys (the educational reference is often a commercial argument, but it is not always verified in practice…).

Each category presents particular risks related to its specificities, to the connection mode used, and to the data collected.

Main risks

Protection tips