Living: Those Beeping, Thinking Toys

Clever new playmates can be found in a child's garden of microchips

Well before noon on Christmas Day, horror-stricken adults will issue forth from every child-equipped house in the nation. They will be dismayed because they have seen the future. The future works, as it turns out, but only if they make a run for more batteries. Not, as in the good old days, a couple of 10ยข Evereadys, but bushels of expensive nine-volts, pecks of Penlites, and Cs and Ds in numbers beyond counting.

This desperate foraging for batteries will symbolize the fact that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!