Oliba Turns Regular Cuddly Toys Into Connected, Storytelling Toys

How much time are you losing every week looking for your child’s cuddly toy before they go to bed? Meet Oliba, a smart toy tracker that has a few tricks up its sleeve. Like key finder devices, Oliba uses Bluetooth 4.0 to let you find a cuddly toy using your phone. But Oliba is also perfectly safe for children, has a built-in nightlight and can tell stories. It’s a nifty little addition to any cuddly toy.

Oliba looks like an owl that you can tie around a teddy bear’s arm for example. You can then see cuddly toys on a map or make it play a sound. Given that Oliba has a speaker, the French startup also leveraged this speaker for other things.

For instance, you can pick a story in a library and play it on Oliba. But it won’t be as good as you telling a story. That’s why you can also record stories and send them to the cuddly toy.

If you want your child to be able to listen to a story without you, you can tell them that they can press Oliba for two seconds to start playing the current story. At night, Oliba glows in the dark to reassure your kid. It can also sing a lullaby. As your child grows, you can load new lullabies and stories.

Oliba works with iOS and Android devices, is machine washable, and can store up to 10 songs and stories. You can recharge it every now and then using USB. The best part is that it only costs between $35 and $49 on Indiegogo.

When Marc Forster and Pandora Samios pitched me their device, they couldn’t stop telling me stories of parents using Oliba prototypes. While many were skeptical at first, they all kept using it and wouldn’t go back to a good old cuddly toy. It’s an encouraging sign for this nifty connected device.