Announced in April of last year, the Echo Dot Kids Edition got something of a mixed reception, primarily due to privacy concerns surrounding the broader smart speaker category. Amazon is back with a version of the $70 device.
Design-wise, the product looks a lot more like the latest version of the Dot, swapping the first generation’s plastic body for a curved cloth covering. The brightly colored bumpers, meanwhile, are gone, in favor of new colors, including Rainbow and Frost Blue. As with the regular Dot, the speaker got a boost here. It’s now 70% louder.
The $70 price includes a year of Amazon FreeTime, which bundles in device time limits, activity review and the ability to filter out songs with explicit lyrics. There’s also a quick and easy feature built in that lets parents and kids work on their own Alexa Skill Blueprints.
As for privacy, Amazon has enlisted Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) to help build FreeTime. Per Amazon:
To access FreeTime on Alexa, verifiable parental consent is required. None of the Alexa skills included within FreeTime Unlimited have access to or collect personal information from children, and there are multiple ways to delete a child’s profile or voice recordings. Parents can review and delete recordings through the Alexa app or the Alexa Privacy Hub, and contact Customer Service to request deletion of their child’s profile.]
The new Dot is available for pre-order today.