The idea is, Sally brings her Barbie Girl over to her friend Tiffany's house, and sets it in Tiffany's docking station -- which is plugged into a USB port on Tiffany's PC. Mattel's (Windows only) software apparently reads some sort of globally unique identifier embedded in Sally's Barbie Girl, and authenticates Sally as one of Tiffany's Best Friends.
It's sort of like an RSA token, but with cute fashion accessories and snap-on hair styles. THREAT LEVEL foresees a wave of Barbie Girl parties in the future, where tweens all meet and authenticate to each other -- like a PGP key signing party, but with cupcakes.
As far as that goes, it's time has come..
Without the device, girls can only chat over Barbie Girls' standard chat system, which limits them to a menu of greetings, questions and phrases pre-selected by Mattel for their wholesome quality.
In contrast, Secret B Chat lets girls chat with their keyboards -- just like a real chat room. But it limits the girl-talk to a white list of approved words. "If you happen to use a word that's not on our list (even if it's not a bad one), it will get blocked," the service cautioned girls at launch. "But don't worry -- we're always adding cool new words!"
OMG, no lolz? This could be really strange. If the tweens of America are forced to use nothing but proper english, rather than talk about only proper things, I think they will develop strange codes.
Barbie Becomes an Authentication Device for Pre-Teen Friendship | Threat Level