I know all you parents are busy, so if you don’t have time to read our whole review of Ubooly, let me start by giving you the quick 9 word version…
Ubooly is both an incredibly cool and creepy toy.
Have time for a slightly more in-depth review? Great, because it is not everyday we review a stuffed animal that comes to life and starts cracking jokes when you shove your iPhone into it. Ubooly is a plush interactive pet, a so called Smart Toy. Place your iPhone inside of Ubooly, fire up the Ubooly app and then have him tell you stories, play games, tell jokes and even play music from your phone. Kids talk to Ubooly, much as we talk to Siri and Ubooly complies…for the most part.
Let’s take a look at our video review of Ubooly -
Be The Brain of A Stuffed Animal? Yep, They Make an App For That
iPhone owners know that there are no shortage of clever devices and uses for their phones. Still, making a plush toy come to life, recognize speech, play games, tell jokes and sing songs – that is pretty different and cool. Spend some time playing with Ubooly and you almost forget you are talking to your iPhone stuffed in a plush toy. The movement of the eyes and mouth really give Ubooly personality.
Ubooly’s speech recognition is far from perfect, but it is good enough to create a real sense of interaction between child and toy. In addition, the programming does a good job of covering up the limitations of Ubooly. The majority of your interaction with Ubooly ends up being a few phrases (Tell Me a Joke, Tell Me a Story, etc.) and Yes and No. For example, you can tell Ubooly, “play a song” – but you can’t tell Ubooly to play a specific song. This allows Ubooly to have a limited vocabulary, but appear like it understands much more.
Content Is King…Even in Limbless Orange Stuffed Animals
The video shows that from a technical standpoint, Ubooly works. The face on the Ubooly app fits well into the Ubooly stuffed animal – with the eyes and mouth moving to create a lifelike appearance. Technically the Ubooly is a good, but what makes Ubooly a fun toy for kids, and one parents don’t want to bury in the backyard, is the content.
Ubooly may have a bit of a Barney and Friends look to him, but thankfully on the inside he is nothing like Barney and actually has a funny and edgy attitude. You get a little of that from the video, but what makes Ubooly great is the content. Ubooly says funny things, tells interesting stories, comes up with wacky facts and at points will surprise you with his creative games. Parents, don’t worry about going insane listening to the same jokes over and over again – new content should be sent to Ubooly about every 2 weeks. In addition, Ubooly will learn what your kids like and tailor his routine to match the activities that your kids most enjoy.
Ubooly May Be The Perfect Home For Your Old iPhone or iPod Touch
With the rapid rate of iPhone and iPod Touch upgrading, it is not uncommon for parents to have “old” iPhones or iPods lying in a desk drawer. If you have kids ages 4-9, spend just $30 on Ubooly and give the kids a super smart stuffed animal. Sure Ubooly is not perfect, he doesn’t always understand what is being asked of him when a group of kids are yelling at him, but then again, neither do I? Is it a little creepy to have a joke cracking stuffed animal? Absolutely, but once you see the kids laughing and playing with Ubooly you will quickly welcome Ubooly into the family!
Ubooly sells for $29.95 and is recommended for ages 4-9. Compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S and 5. iPod Touch 4G and 5