The 24/7 non-stop physical, mental and stressful aspects of parenting makes raising children in the 21st century essentially a full time job. With endless nights of lack of sleep, never-ending cycles of cleaning, the learning curve for both child and parent, and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears, the position comes with a minimal amount of “me-time” and is not for the faint of heart.
Luckily, Japanese entertainment company TAKARA TOMY has designed a product that can take on a specific parental responsibility, which in turn frees up some time for mum and dad to use however they wish.

The product in question is Coemo – a story-telling speaker that, through Artificial Intelligence (hereafter AI), reproduces the voices of parents. The child-rearing support gadget has a free content collection consisting of 60 various stories and songs from both Japan and the rest of the world.

Coemo’s state-of-the-art AI synthetic speech synthetic technology “Coe Station” is able to reproduce a natural story-telling voice that copies the emotional expressions and intonations of loved ones. This imitation can help children to relax, as familiar voices of mum and dad (or other loved ones) read out their favourite stories.
In addition, Coemo comes with built in sound effects and background music that match each individual story. These elements add a further touch of entertainment and realism to the abilities of Coemo.

Content already installed on the device includes a range of stories from across the globe, such as a selection of Grimms’ fairytales and traditional Japanese folktales, nursery rhymes and music box melodies.
A bonus feature is the collaborative content that has been produced with professional sleep company “BRAIN SLEEP”. This includes 5 original Coemo content, such as soothing sleep music and “Nerumae Taisou” (pre-sleep exercises) that have been designed to lead to a perfect night of sleep.

Though Coemo comes with 60 different types of free content already pre-installed, TAKARA TOMY plans to develop additional stories and features that can be added (for a fee) to the product’s AI technologic system as a way to continue nurturing children as they grow.
This extra content will be developed in collaboration with Kogumakai – which is an early childhood education and practice research institute – and will focus on developing a child’s listening, concentration and comprehension skills.

Whatsmore, Coemo has been certified as a “Guide Dog Mark” product by the Japan Toy Association, as it has been created with the visually impaired in mind. With screen reading functions, voice control and embossed buttons that have been designed so that the product can be operated by touch, Coemo fits into a category of gadgets that can be fully enjoyed by both visually impaired children and parents.

Coemo’s voice registration is quick and easy. Simply install the “Coemo app” and “Coe station” onto your smartphone. Using Coe station, users will be prompted to record their voice by reading a single manuscript for approximately 15 minutes, after which they can pair it with the Coemo app and send it through to the Coemo main body.

*The “Coe station” application is currently only available on iOS15 and above. An android version is to be released in the future.

Currently undergoing the final stages of manufacture and production, TAKARA TOMY’s Coemo AI story-telling gadget is scheduled to be released sometime in late September of 2022.

The toy will be available for a suggested retail price of 12,980 yen (tax included), and will be run on 3 x AA alkaline batteries. Once in stock, Coemo will be sold at toy stores and mass retailers nationwide, as well as online through the official TAKARA TOMY shopping site.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.