You Can Now Buy the Amazon Echo Spot in Canada

Mark Gurman explains Amazon’s plans to build home rebots

Mark Gurman explains Amazon’s plans to build home rebots

The online retail giant unveiled a new kid-oriented service for its Echo devices Wednesday that will actually compliment a child when they ask Alexa a question using the word "please". It starts at $3 per month for Prime members and at no additional cost for existing FreeTime Unlimited members. To address that, Amazon says its Echo Dot Kids Edition speakers come with a 2-year "worry-free guarantee", meaning Amazon will replace it for free if a child manages to break the speaker.

Furthering its aggressive push in smart speakers and digital personal assistants, Amazon today announced a new version of the Echo Dot aimed at kids that will work with a new version of its parental controls called Amazon FreeTime on Alexa. The FreeTime parental controls and FreeTime Unlimited content subscription option will be available for those devices via a free software update coming May 9.

So don't feel you have to get a Fire Kids Tablet, though if you're an iFamily, be aware that FreeTime Unlimited is not compatible with iOS devices.

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Launching on May 9 in the USA, the Echo Dot Kids Edition looks the same as the normal Dot, but comes with a colourful case (red/green/blue).

Alexa has a similar response if a child says they're being bullied by encouraging them to tell someone who can help. Introducing an Echo for kids makes sense considering the growing popularity of Alexa in the home and the likelihood that many kids have already been exposed to Alexa thanks to smart speakers their parents have purchased.

Before you rush off to pre-order one, you should know that FreeTime is also coming to other Alexa speakers - including the regular Echo Dot - soon. These features are part of a plan called "FreeTime" which lets parents set time limits for their children in which they can use Echo Dot. The Echo Dot Kids Edition is available for preorder right now, and it'll ship on May 9th. Kids can also ask for knock-knock jokes, ask Alexa for a song, and more. From the sounds of things it's a device for households with kids, so they don't do something stupid and somehow use Alexa to listen to the 50 Shades of Grey audiobook or knock it off the counter and cause your fake person to shatter into a million pieces. While the Spot does all of what the other Echo devices do, including execute all the skills on board, the screen allows for more functionality. In January, for example, research firm ChildWise reported that usage of voice-activated assistants could affect how children learn to communicate, according to The Telegraph.

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