Published: Sun, April 29, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Amazon targets youngsters with Echo Dot Kids Edition and custom Alexa

Amazon targets youngsters with Echo Dot Kids Edition and custom Alexa

Launched previous year, FreeTime brings a curated set of parental controls to any Echo speaker such as time-limiting use around sleeping and homework, blocking explicit content and voice purchasing plus a full review of kids' Alexa activities.

Buyers will receive a year's subscription to Amazon's FreeTime Unlimited Service, which adds unlimited parental controls and kid-friendly content, and a two-year agreement that Amazon will replace the device if it gets damaged (no questions asked). In that sense, FreeTime for Alexa is probably best turned on for an Echo situated in a kids' bedroom or playroom. FreeTime will be made available on May 9 on all Echo products without a screen, including the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, and Echo Dot Kids Edition, which was announced today alongside the software.

FreeTime on Alexa will be free for all Echo users but will not include the other content such as 300 Audible kid's books, and premium skills.

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While the first year of FreeTime use on the new Echo Dot Kids Edition will be free of charge, parents should be aware that the service will automatically renew and charge them $2.99 per month plus applicable taxes once the free subscription expires.

The aptly named Echo Dot Kids Edition is technically no different than the standard Echo Dot introduced in March 2016. It also includes the aforementioned parental controls and allows parents to schedule when the Echo Dot can be used. Like the tablet, the children's Echo Dot is more expensive than the adult model ($79.99 vs. $49.99), but it's a good deal when you consider the bundled content. Parents can also turn off any Alexa skill they don't want their children to use, block it from playing songs with explicit lyrics, and keep it from buying things off Amazon without a parent's consent. After the year is up, FreeTime Unlimited costs $2.99 per month for Amazon Prime members.

How much does the Echo Dot Kids Edition cost?

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Politeness counts, at least when your child asks Alexa a question on an Amazon Echo speaker.

Amazon has quickly become a force in the smart home market with help from its Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, among other devices. And it could be huge - but we'd like to know if you'd try it for your family. "Use Drop In to instantly connect to another Echo device at home, or send an announcement to other Echo devices at once".

Amazon heard from parents in comments on its products that they wanted a way to teach etiquette while using the voice assistant, the company said in statement. Parents can also listen to archives of their child's voice requests via Alexa app and delete them individually or all at once.

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What's more, when the controls are enabled, Alexa will change the manner in which it responds to kid queries to make the answers more approachable or informative.

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