Furby not guilty as ‘charged’
- By: Greg Basky
It seems now that Furby, last Christmas's “must have” stuffed toy with a computer chip inside, which was vilified for interfering with medical equipment, does not affect medical machinery after all.
An investigation by Health Canada (the government's health ministry), published recently in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (1999;161:971), revealed that the electric and magnetic fields given off by the ear wiggling, eye blinking, fuzzy creature are about 70 times weaker than those emitted by a digital telephone and are “very unlikely” to affect the performance of medical devices, say the study's authors.
The furry furore started last January, when Canadian media outlets jumped on reports that the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, Scotland, had apparently banned the toy from its intensive care unit.In response to media coverage and calls from biomedical engineers, researchers in Health Canada's Medical Devices Bureau measured the effect of Furby on 10 devices