Take a look at the Amazon Echo for kids, an updated Oculus, a retro-styled smart speaker, and Snapchat’s latest spectacles. Amazon is trying to rope in younger members of the family to use its Alexa voice assistant with the release of a smart speaker for kids. The Echo Dot Kids Edition has a rubber case protecting a standard Echo Dot and a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy.
It includes a one-year membership for FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon’s subscription service for kids’ books, videos, games, education apps and Alexa skills. FreeTime Unlimited has parental controls and optimizes the Alexa experience with kids in mind. It nixes functions not suited for kids, like e-commerce and news, while allowing parents to set time limits and block explicit songs from playing on Amazon Music. Moms and dads also can use Alexa to send positive feedback when a child says “please” to ask for something.
It recognizes mispronunciations too, including “Awexa.” That’s beyond adorable. On the downside, it might end up training your offspring to learn how to take command of your own Echo, letting them interrupt what you’re viewing or listening to, or cause havoc with your connected lighting system. There may be trouble ahead.