Amazon Introduces Echo Dot Kids Edition Smart Speaker

Amazon Introduces Echo Dot Kids Edition Smart Speaker

Starting May 9, Amazon will offer both a free and paid version of its FreeTime service specifically for Alexa. It costs more than the regular Echo Dot, but there are a few notable differences between the two speakers. On Wednesday, the e-commerce giant further diversified the category with the introduction of a new Echo Dot specifically for children. The Amazon Echo Dot Kids can now be pre-ordered in blue, green or red for the price of $79.99.

This new "magic word" feature, as Amazon calls it, starts to roll out in a software upgrade for the Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot smart speakers May 9, as part of a set of free parental controls called FreeTime for Alexa. After one year, your subscription will automatically renew every month starting at just $2.99/month plus applicable tax.

Amazon has also given some thought to how Alexa will answer more delicate questions, giving age-appropriate but factual responses.

Will it sound any better than the Echo Dot?

In addition, parents can now set time limits on when requests are responded to, and can block some services.

Despite the fact that Amazon's Echo devices are always listening, and record your conversations, Amazon's Vice President of Alexa Customer Experience, Toni Reid, claimed, "Consumer trust is of utmost importance to us..."

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The bank said Banking Skill, which had been offered through Amazon's Alexa assistant, would offer the option of using voice-enabled commands or else have information displayed on the screen of the Echo Spot. To me, the question isn't whether products such as Alexa for Kids should exist, but whether they are carefully crafted to serve the needs of families without taking unfair advantage of children.

Before, when children yelled at the voice on the other end of the speaker, they wouldn't be corrected.

"AI devices interfere with the face-to-face interactions and kid-driven play that children need to grow and thrive", said Josh Golin, executive director for the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

The $80 device is very similar to other Echo devices, but it features a colorful protective bumper and a slew of features targeted for children. I'd imagine my fifth grader might be into it, mainly for the dance party aspect, but older tweens and teens have pretty much aged out of a lot of the Kindle FreeTime content and are already making their own Spotify and Apple Music playlists. Another device that has a display is Echo Show, but the company now has no plans to launch it in India. FreeTime on Alexa allows for household announcements, calling, messaging, and Drop In within the home.

Those with an Amazon Echo device in their homes have likely already exposed their children to Alexa. After the first year, Amazon FreeTime Unlimited costs $2.99 per month.

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