Advantages of connected toys and children’s products
Connected toys and children’s products are becoming more popular than ever. These products provide a personalized experience for children and parents with the help of embedded software that can offer speech and image recognition, app integration, radio frequency (RF) identification functionality and web search functions.
Adopting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) toys to enhance children’s skills is one of the key factors driving demand for connected toys and children’s products.
Advanced toy technologies offer exciting new potential for learning and entertainment but also come with a host of risks, safety challenges, performance issues and regulatory requirements that may be unfamiliar to you as you attempt to manufacture them and navigate access to new markets.
Consider these challenges in the connected toys market
As a brand, manufacturer or retailer looking to enter the global market with connected toys or children’s products, consider these challenges before proceeding:
- Safety and security issues — children's products and e-toys may have special product safety considerations, including requirements for rechargeable batteries, that may be best covered by multiple product safety standards, including (UL EN) IEC 62368-1, EN 71, and ASTM F963. UL’s professionals have the expertise to collaborate with you to determine the most appropriate safety standards for your product.
- Performance issues — when you sell your connected toy or product you must ensure it connects, stay connected and work as intended. We offer interoperability and functionality testing services and comprehensive mobile app compatibility testing using our large library of devices. All programs are customizable and designed to improve the consumer experience and support your brand protection. In our global laboratories we also provide over-the-air (OTA) antenna testing for devices with higher connectivity requirements to predict antenna performance of real-world wireless devices.
- Risks of integrating wireless technologies — adding wireless technologies such as Bluetooth® can improve the interactivity and marketability of your connected toys or children’s products, but it also opens up certain cybersecurity and performance risks that may require you to get the product tested for Bluetooth® conformance and certified in the market(s) where you are selling your product. Through qualifications testing, we can help you meet the mandatory Bluetooth® requirements for using the Bluetooth® trademark. Products with Bluetooth® also benefit from UL’s performance testing services, including our extended and customized interoperability (IOP) test program.
- Specific absorption rate (SAR) exposure — limiting your product’s SAR emissions to protect younger consumers is a key concern. You must be able to prove that your device does not exceed the established radio frequency (RF) exposure for the region and country where you market your product.
- Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) — before selling your product you have to verity its emissions are below specified limits defined for that type of article to help give you confidence that it won’t cause harmful interference with other devices in its operating environment. UL's EMC and radio testing determine whether an e-toy operates as expected in its intended working environment with products operating nearby.
- Cybersecurity — connected toys and children's products are a potential minefield when it comes to security and privacy, and several countries and regions around the world are implementing strict regulations to protect children’s personal data. UL’s Internet of Things (IoT) Security Rating Program is based on the UL 1376, Methodology for Marketing Claim Verification: Security Capabilities Verified to level Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum/Diamond, UL MCV 1376* to determine the accuracy of marketing claims.
- Certifications and market access — each global market has specific and often different requirements and regulations. Our Global Market Access team can guide you through your target market’s requirements and support your product approval on time and within budget.
Meet market access regulations via testing and certification
When you partner with UL, the global safety science leader, you gain access to a wide portfolio of testing and certification services to help you navigate market access requirements for your connected toy and children’s products. As a recognized leader in electrical, electronic and wireless technologies, we can assist in helping you identify and understand what measures you must take to protect the youngest consumers while they use your connected devices.
UL solutions for connected toys
As a maker, seller or designer of smart toys and children’s products, you need to demonstrate safety to protect your young users. At UL, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of connected children’s product compliance. When you want to demonstrate that your smart toys are safe, rely on UL, the trusted leader in product safety. Our toy safety certification tests can help confirm your products comply with the applicable U.S., EU and other international standard consumer safety specifications, as well as all applicable safety standards for connecting to the Internet of Things.