Amazon on Wednesday took the wraps off yet another Echo device. Well, it’s not exactly new, it’s the same Echo Dot you’ve grown to love over the years. But this time around, we’re looking at kid-friendly version of the tiny smart speaker, which comes in a bunch of new colors and is supposed to be sturdier than the regular device so it can survive abuse from children.
The Echo Dots Kids Edition is available at this link and it costs $79.99. That price includes one year of FreeTime Unlimited service, two years of worry-free guarantee, and a kid-friendly case. The Echo Dot Kids Edition is available for preorder right now, and it’ll ship on May 9th.
The Amazon FreeTime initiative is even more exciting if you’ve been looking for parental controls for Alexa. Here’s what it’ll have to offer, according to Amazon:
- Time Limits – Set bedtime time limits to protect against kids talking with Alexa late into the night, or simply pause Echo devices for dinner or homework time.
- Parental Controls – Use the Parent Dashboard and Alexa app to choose which services and skills kids can use, turn off voice purchasing, and more.
- Block Explicit Songs – Both in the Alexa experience and FreeTime on Alexa experience, parents with Amazon Music now have the ability to filter playback of songs with explicit lyrics, and we’ll continue to add compatible music services to this feature over time.
- Activity Review – Parent Dashboard allows parents to see their kid’s FreeTime on Alexa activity, plus review their voice recordings in the Alexa app.
- Magic Word – The new Magic Word feature offers positive reinforcement when kids use the word “please” while asking questions of Alexa.
- Educational Q&A – Kids can ask Alexa questions about science, math, spelling, definitions, or any other topic that piques their curiosity. Since Alexa is built in the cloud and always getting smarter, she’ll continue to learn new information every day.
- Alexa Speaks “Kid” – Alexa has age-appropriate suggestions at the ready, all kids have to say is, “Alexa, I’m bored.” Kids can also ask for knock-knock jokes, ask Alexa for a song, and more. The more they use Alexa, the smarter she will get.
- Household Communications – Gone are the days of shouting up the stairs for the kids to come down to dinner. FreeTime on Alexa allows for household announcements, calling, messaging, and Drop In within the home.
The program brings parental controls to all Echo devices at no cost. The FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa subscription, meanwhile, includes a “wide selection of Alexa-specific content such as kid-friendly premium skills, Audible books, and more.”
The service costs $4.99 per month for a single child or $9.99 for up to four children. If you’ve got an Amazon Prime subscription, you’ll enjoy discounted rates of $2.99 and $6.99 per month on top of Prime. FreeTime will be available on all Echo devices on May 9th, after a software update.