Amazon Announces New Echo Dot Kids Edition with FreeTime on Alexa

Amazon Announces New Echo Dot Kids Edition with FreeTime on Alexa

FreeTime gives users "family-focused features" and new parental controls that adults can use to restrict what their kids can do with Alexa.

Parents can choose any combination of multiple options for their kids.

Echo Dot Kids Edition ($80) is the newest smart speaker from Amazon, and another way for the company to get its Alexa assistant into more homes, and more rooms. This is a new content subscription service for parents and kids, which aims to bring a wide selection of Alexa-specific content, such as kid-friendly premium skills, a library of 300 kids audiobooks, games, and more.

The Amazon Echo Spot can display live cricket scores from ESPNcricinfo, news from India Today, NDTV and others, and it'll also show booking details of your Ola cab and much more.

FreeTime on Alexa is free, and simply needs to be added to the Echo device that parents may already have in the home. To get numerous kid-friendly services, however, you'll have to subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited for $2.99 a month (for Prime customers).

The Kids Edition comes with a case - available in blue, red or green - that helps protect the speaker from spills. The basic freebie offers parental control features, enabling parents/guardians to block off features such as adding items to shopping lists, which we're sure will be a relief to anyone.

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The Echo Dot Kids Edition is only available in the USA for the time being, though it isn't likely to be long before Amazon starts rolling the device out internationally.

Educational Q&A - Kids can ask Alexa questions about science, math, spelling, definitions, or any other topic that piques their curiosity.

For anyone suddenly worrying about why a child might want an Echo or access to Alexa, this isn't primarily a device for children. Like the original Dot, the Kids Edition has a mute button, and parents can put the device in "sleep mode" to prevent it from responding to commands. The screen let's users ask the Alexa smart assistant to play some types of video content and even lets them make video calls to others with the Alexa app on their phone.

The idea of an Echo Dot Kids Edition may seem silly at first, but it actually looks like an interesting device for children. The more they use Alexa, the smarter she will get.

Kumar also told ET Tech that the Alexa Skills Kit is also going to support video, letting third party developers build experiences for the screen.

Echo Dot Kids Edition will begin shipping on May 9.