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Amazon is releasing a kids version of the Echo Dot; here’s what it does

POSTED April 26, 2018 9:19 a.m.
Amazon is releasing a new product that is tailored for children.

The online retail company’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition went on pre-sale Wednesday. The product will be similar to the Echo Dot, only it comes with parental controls and child-friendly content.

Not to be outdone, the device will be encased in a super colorful case as well.

The new device sells for $79.99, which is $30 more than the traditional Echo Dot.

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).

As The Verge reported, the device’s main draw is with the FreeTime Unlimited Service package, which offers children access to family-friendly audiobooks, radio stations, Disney and Nickelodeon character alarms, and more.

Buyers will have a subscription to the service for a year, but it can be purchased for $2.99 per month per child as well after that time, The Verge reported.

The basic and free version of the FreeTime service blocks children from shopping on Alexa, reading the news, or using third-party delivery apps, like Uber or Dominos.

But, according to BuzzFeed News, children who use the device will be treated to some special Easter eggs, including a “magic word” function that will give children rewards for saying the word “please.”

In fact, Amazon created the device to have specific responses that are tailored for children who talk to Alexa about their lives.

For example, if a child tells Alexa that he or she has been bullied, the device will respond, “I'm so sorry to hear that, You should talk to your parents, a teacher, or another trusted grown-up. Bullying is never OK,” according to BuzzFeed.

Avi Greengart, a tech analyst at GlobalData, told USA Today that the new device will address the demand by parents and children to have their own devices.

“Amazon is doing something that’s been widely asked, which is rewarding kids for saying 'please,'" he said. “Perhaps that will lessen the fear that some parents have that adding an AI (artificial intelligent assistant) is ruining a kid's etiquette.”

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