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Bluetooth-enabled teddy bear befriends sick kids

Teddy bear is meant as a socialization tool for children who are hospitalized and bedridden for long stretches.

Dilus teddy bear
Bruno Oro de Abreu

Brazilian industrial designer Bruno Oro de Abreu wrote in to tell us about Dilus, an electronic teddy bear that's far more than a cuddly toy. It's a socialization tool.

The Bluetooth-enabled concept bear has a holographic display that kids can use to surf the Internet, play games, attend remote classes, and make friends with other Dilus-toting youngsters. It can display 2D and 3D images and has a customizable polymer body that can be changed according to design preference. Oh, and it's cute.

The 23-year-old designer, who is working on Dilus as a graduation project, says the smart bear was inspired by research into children, specifically cancer patients, who are hospitalized and bedridden for long stretches. The resulting disruption and isolation, the research showed, can impact how kids learn and interact.

Some children have already tested the product for ergonomic functionality. The designer says he hopes Dilus will officially make its way into children's hands by 2010. While inspired by infirm kids, it could be a hit with the broader young populace--and harried parents--as well.