What's the Latest Development?
If the toys at the mall aren't doing it for your kid, consider this approach: Chile-based startup Thinker Thing is in the process of refining their Monster Dreamer, which is a headset that uses the wearer's brain waves as a blueprint for creating a unique Makerbot-printed toy monster of their own. All the child needs to do is look at a series of creatures, and the headset does the rest. "Through their brain waves, 14 sensors can tell which creatures excite and interest (or bore) the children most. [Eventually] the 'DNA' of their preferred creatures is 'cross mated' to create unique hybrids."
What's the Big Idea?
Thinker Thing founder Bryan Salt says that the Monster Dreamer can't literally create the toy imagined in a child's brain, but it can identify preferred characteristics and build upon them: "You’re expressing a preference for the complex results from a DNA rule set you don’t need to understand. A choice is not made about [a particular feature]; it’s a choice about the total creature." The Chilean government, which is funding the project, is bringing Monster Dreamer to local schools in hopes of teaching students that "technology, art, and engineering can be used in magical ways."
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