Shhhh, its wabbit hunting season.

This plastic bunny with ears like TV antennae can read out emails and mobile phone text messages, tell children to go to bed, alert one to a stock collapse and give traffic updates by receiving internet feeds via a wireless Wi-Fi network.

The bunny, which stands 23 cm tall and has a white cone-like body that lights up when it speaks, is called Nabaztag, which means rabbit in Armenian, its creator’s mother tongue. It can also wiggle its ears and sing songs.

Since its market debut last year, 50,000 Nabaztags have been sold in France, Britain, Belgium and Switzerland, and Haladjian hopes to sell 150,000 by the end of this year. Nabaztag costs 115 euros ($US148) in France, £80 ($US152) in Britain and $US150 in the United States. It is made in Shenzhen, China.

French entrepreneur Rafi Haladjian, who conceived the idea, says the rabbit sometimes carries more sway over children than their parents and can help men who have misbehaved win forgiveness from angry partners.

Nabaztag’s basic Internet feeds are free, such as weather forecasts, stock market performance and selected email reading. But sending a text message and making a call cost the sender extra. Charges for text messages drop if the receiver is subscribed to a premium service.

“Our business model is a little bit like Skype,” says Haladjian. “We offer a free service but charge for premium ones.”

Source: SMH.com.au

Related Links: Nabaztag.com, Nabaztag’s blog

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