A toy is an item or product intended for learning or play, which can have various benefits to childhood development. Children's toys have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, with a growing shift from simple physical products to toys that engage the digital world. Toy makers are seizing this opportunity to develop products that combine the characteristics of traditional toys such as dolls and stuffed toys with computing software and hardware. A smart anthropomorphism toy is defined as a device consisting of a physical toy component in the humanoid form that connects to a computing system through networking and sensory technologies to enhance the functionality of a traditional toy. Many studies found out that anthropomorphic designs resulted in greater user engagement. Children trusted such designs serve a good purpose and felt less anxious about privacy. While there have been many efforts by governments and international organizations such as UNICEF to encourage the protection of children's data online, there is currently no standard privacy-preserving framework for mobile toy computing applications. Children's privacy is becoming a major concern for parents who wish to protect their children from potential harms related to the collection or misuse of their private data, particularly their location. This talk presents the related research issues with a case study on Mattel's Hello Barbie. Further, this talk will also discuss the current research works for companion robots.
Patrick C. K. Hung is a Professor and Director of International Programs at the Faculty of Business and Information Technology in University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada. He currently works with the College of Technological Innovation at Zayed University on several smart city and cybersecurity research projects in the United Arab Emirates. He is also a Visiting Researcher at University of São Paulo, Brazil and National Technological University (UTN)-Santa Fe, Argentina. Patrick worked with Boeing Research and Technology at Seattle on aviation services-related research with two U.S. patents on mobile network dynamic workflow system. Before that, he was a Research Scientist with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia as well as he worked as a software engineer in the industry in North America. He is a founding member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Services Computing, and the IEEE Transactions on Services Computing. He is a Coordinating Editor of the Information Systems Frontiers.