The Echo Spot makes Amazon's Alexa a versatile work companion

Mark Gurman explains Amazon’s plans to build home rebots

Mark Gurman explains Amazon’s plans to build home rebots

A new feature called Magic Word encourages children to say "please" when issuing commands to Alexa, and the Kids Edition will support household calling, messaging, and Drop In features so that parents can use it as an intercom.

The Kids Echo Dot is the same product but housed in a brightly coloured rubber bumper case.

You can pre-order an Echo Dot Kids Edition via the button below.

In the new Parent Dashboard in the Alexa app and online, parents can monitor how kids are using their Echos (including viewing all their utterances, or the phrases Alexa thinks it heard before trying to respond) and limit the device's abilities. That's a $30 up-charge compared to the regular Dot, though it includes several kid-friendly features that don't come with the regular Dot, as shown above.

Amazon on Wednesday launched the Echo Dot Kids Edition that comes with a free two-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited.

Amazon plans to release a slate of new Alexa features for parents and children, plus a new $79.99 version of its Echo Dot designed for kids, attempting to expand the appeal of its voice assistant for families and broaden its reach in the home. A software rollout will also add this function to other Echo devices running Freetime in due course. This service adds parental controls, an optimized Alexa experience for kids, and child-friendly content. "With Echo Dot Kids Edition and FreeTime on Alexa, parents can have peace of mind knowing their kids are getting age-appropriate content, while they listen to music, ask questions, enjoy Audible books, use Alexa skills, and more". Parents can also set time restrictions on their kids' Echo usage, block explicit songs from playing on Amazon Music through the Echo, and view their child's Echo activity and voice recordings. Kids can also ask for knock-knock jokes, ask Alexa for a song, and more.

It all comes down to your comfort level with the products, and your desire to have another Alexa-enabled device in your home - a device geared specifically toward children.

Can I set up Alexa time limits for my kids? Those who are new to FreeTime Unlimited can sign up for as low as $2.99 per month. The reason you'd want one is to save yourself some cash if you'd already planned on buying both an Echo Dot and a FreeTime Unlimited subscription for your child. Also, the kiddie version of Alexa won't allow the young ones to shop, make phone calls outside of the house, or hook up with third party apps such as Spotify or Lyft.

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