Hasbro Australia i-Dog
- It dances, It’s a robotic Dog, Flashing LED lights
- Fairly pointless, Poor quality speaker, Novelty value will wear off quickly
If you’re into really pointless toys, then the i-Dog is for you. It’s not a bad product and does what it states, but we feel its novelty value will wear off fairly quickly.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
When a dancing, robotic Dog that develops personalities and needs to be "fed" music is released into the market, have we gone too far? Enter the 'i-Dog'.
i-Dog is a robotic pooch that listens, moves, grooves and lights up to your music collection. It sounds quite simple, yet also so pointless. However, after playing with our i-Dog for a while, we couldn't help but like our virtual pet. Call us easily amused, but the idea of a dog developing a "personality" depending on what type of music you "feed" it was very interesting.
The i-Dog is quite small and compact and can easily rest in the palm of your hand. It is finished in all-white, chrome and clear plastic - obviously attempting to woo over the popular iPod crowd. Rubber pieces on the bottom of its feet prevent it sliding across slippery surfaces, while a poor quality speaker that is operated by a tail switch is located on its back.
The main focus of the i-Dog is on its largely flat head and it is here where the i-Dogs flashing LEDs are displayed. Flanked by a chrome Nose Button, which powers the unit on and off, the head also has two clear plastic ears attached to it - which move depending on what actions i-Dog is performing. A cable is supplied with the unit, which allows you to plug your headphones into the i-Dog if you don't wish to play sound through its speaker.
The idea of the i-Dog is fairly simple, even if you do have to delve into the instruction manual at first. Basically, you have to keep i-Dog happy by giving the virtual pet "attention" and playing music through it. When the i-Dog requires you to do something, its flashing lights will blink in certain patterns and colours and it will move and make sounds - including an annoying bark.
To keep i-Dog happy, you'll have to give it plenty of attention and this is achieved by patting or waving your hand across the top of its head. Yes, it does sound quite ridiculous patting a lifeless piece of plastic, but if you want your new pet to operate properly, this must be done. There is a small light sensor on top of the head, which registers movement and responds accordingly.
According to the instruction manual, i-Dog needs to be "fed" five minutes of music per hour, every hour, to keep it satisfied. It isn't asking for much! You plug your MP3 player into the i-Dog via the supplied cable and its head and ears will dance and move to show you that it's listening to the music you are playing. The lights will then flash in different colours and patterns to show what personality and moods your new pet is developing. For example, if the lights move in a zig-zag pattern, this means the i-Dog is exstatic and so excited and happy it can't contain itself.
In addition to this, the i-Dog reacts to sounds even when the unit isn't plugged into an audio source. This means it responds to voices, noises or any other external audio. Although this is quite innovative, it does become somewhat annoying very quickly and we had to stash our pet away in the bottom of a desk drawer to ensure it didn't give the rest of our offices a headache.
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