Remember Tamagotchi? Those virtual pets that sparked a craze in the 1990s are back. But this time, they’re wearable smart devices.
Dubbed Tamagotchi Smart, the new versions have touch and voice controls as well as new characters and items. The touch functions let owners pet their character, while the voice recognition commands let them chat.
Previous functions return like the pedometer, digital clocks, and easy ways to connect with a friend’s device.
If this were really a smart device, then it should care for your Tamagotchi, feed it and clean up after it automatically! But that wouldn’t be a Tamagotchi and what fun would that be? None.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Tamagotchi. (Can you believe it? Maybe you can. I cannot. I remember writing an article for Wired Magazine in 2004 when infrared tech was added to Tamagotchi. That seems like a billion years ago.)
When Tamagotchi were first released in Japan in 1996, they caused a nationwide sensation. They were groundbreaking digital pets and went on to spawn a number of video games. Tamagotchi was so popular that there was an anime series and even an animated movie with the clever title, Tamagotchi: The Movie.
Earlier generations of Tamagotchi characters were prone to die in a few days if they didn’t get the care they need. Because the digital pets were not strapped to your arm like the upcoming iteration, checking back in on your character could always be interesting—or sad—depending on for how long you’ve left it alone.
The new version feels more like an egg-shaped smartwatch for kids. However, considering how Digimon also got a bracelet device, a wearable Tamagotchi seemed inevitable.
Tamagotchi Smart will be released this November in Japan. No word yet on an international release.