“The original Furby had regimented programming that created the illusion of a customized experience. But extended play revealed the same sounds and movements as it migrated from speaking Furbish, its native tongue, to English.
The new version has upgraded sensors and a computerized brain that will alter its behavior depending on how it’s treated, according to Hasbro. Pet it nicely and play music for it, and the creature may act more fun-loving. Shake it upside down, and it could become ornery. New Furbies can interact with other Furbies in the same room by sending out and reading inaudible tones. “With the older one, everyone basically had the same Furby,” says Kris Paulson, design manager of integrated play, who worked on Furby. “This one really adapts to who is playing with it.”
Furby also works with mobile devices. A free app for Apple’s iOS operating software and one for Google’s (GOOG) Android later this year will allow users to translate what Furby is saying and feed him everything from coffee to a dirty sock, potentially eliciting a burp or other adorably rude noises.”