Amazon is expanding its smart speak line yet again, this time targeting children in the home.
Parents now can get their children their own smart agent, the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, a miniature version in the Echo line. Amazon has also introduced two new digital voice options for children and parents.
Amazon Free Time on Alexa is a free service that can be added to an Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Plus with an existing account. Free Time adds new features, including parental controls to select which services their children can use, setting bedtime time limits, blocking of explicit songs and educational features, among others.
Amazon Free Time Unlimited on Alexa is a paid service ($2.99 a month for Prime members with one child, $6.99 for families with up to four children) that includes 300 audible books, ad-free kid-friendly radio stations such as Radio Disney and thousands of games, apps, videos and books.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition, which costs $80 and start shipping May 9, comes with a free year of the unlimited plan.
Some time back, Saturday Night Live did a clever skit, featuring a fictional version of Alexa called the Amazon Echo Silver, created specifically for older people. The device played super loud and responded to any name even remotely close to “Alexa.”
Like the made-up SNL version, the Amazon Kids voice device also will be somewhat forgiving in how a young child says the word “Alexa.”