Amazon is launching a new version of the Echo Dot that is more expensive but will be tailored specifically for use by children.
Among other cool child-friendly features to keep kids entertained – like age-appropriate jokes - it encourages the use of “please” and “thank you” when it’s asked questions.
It will also give more educational responses than the “adult” version of Alexa, with more explanation on science and nature topics, for example, and in easy-to-understand language.
Launching on May 9 in the US, the Echo Dot Kids Edition looks the same as the normal Echo Dot, but comes with a colourful case (red/green/blue).
Will there be a UK launch? We’d expect so but, for now, Amazon UK brushed us off with the following statement: “Echo Dot Kids Edition is available in the US only, and we have no news to share regarding any UK launch”.
Yet. Given that almost all Amazon devices come out here eventually (note, we said almost), we’re expecting Amazon UK to launch it pretty soon. Naturally, it works with Amazon’s new Parent Dashboard, so you can make sure they can’t buy stuff on your Amazon account or block content – like explicit songs – and set time limits to stop the Dot from working after bedtime.
In the US, the Echo Dot Kids Edition costs $79.99, around $30 more than the normal Echo Dot. That price premium is quite a bit and could just encourage parents to go for a standard Echo Dot without being aware of the benefits of this special edition.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a year of FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa in the US, which is like Fire for Kids Unlimited here in the UK. It’s essentially a subscription to access books, apps and games for a monthly fee. All of it is vetted and totally safe with no ads or in-app purchases or things of that nature.
The Alexa version of the subscription adds things like Audible audiobooks (over 300 titles) as well as kid-friendly radio stations, some specially created Alexa skills, Disney and Nickelodeon character alarms and more.
There’s also a two-year warranty so you can replace the Echo Dot Kids Edition if your kids damage it. To be honest, they’d have to go some to break the Dot unless on purpose, but it’s a nice reassurance.
Liked this? Check out How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa