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Google is potentially creating a search engine for toddlers, despite recent privacy scandals.
The tech giant has filed a European patent, entitled Gamifying Voice Search Experience for Children, which gives it exclusive rights to develop the concept.
Youngsters - Product - Bubble-interface - Infants
Aimed at nursery-age youngsters, the prospective product would use a child-friendly bubble-interface to engage with infants.
This would be separate to Google Assistant, which already allows people to conduct voice-activated searches on their devices.
Education - Experts - Concerns - Risk - Privacy
However, education experts have raised concerns over the risk of potential privacy violations, such as those associated with Amazon's Echo Device, plus the dangers of making children addicted to technology.
The patent filing has been unearthed just weeks after it was determined Google Assistant does give workers access to some audio recordings.
Function - Smartphones - Tablet - Laptops - Silicon
They fear that it could introduce another function on smartphones, tablet and laptops which effectively allow Silicon Valley to eavesdrop on their conversations.
But the company insists it can 'transform content searching into a game-like experience that teaches young users how to search for interesting content.'
Documents - Patent - Platform - 'children - Words
Documents detailing the patent suggest the platform would specifically target 'children who cannot yet read words', so those younger than three years-old.
They could command the search function by bursting on-screen bubbles, which would prompt them to speak about age-related topics, such as animals or games.
Bubbles - Page - Device
These animated bubbles would remain active on the page to show that the device was 'actively listening' to the them.
The patent suggests that a child might say 'Giraffe!', which would produce pictures or a video on-screen, which they could 'like' or 'dislike'. They would also be encouraged to leave comments.
Google - Concept - Phase
However, Google have insisted that the concept is still in its embryonic phase - and may not even materialise.
It, along with many other tech companies, files huge amounts of patents every year, but only a portion are full-developed.
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