Amazon launches child-friendly Echo Dot that rewards politeness

Amazon has taken the wraps off the Echo Dot Kids Edition, a more rugged, locked-down version of its puck-sized Echo Dot smart speaker that vows to make it harder for children to make accidental purchases.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes dressed in a child-friendly rubber case, complete with access to FreeTime Unlimited (Amazon’s refreshed $2.99 per-month subscription for children’s content) and FreeTime Parental Controls.

FreeTime has been around for the Echo for a while now, offering parents the facility to set various restrictions for their child’s echo, including the all-important option to turn off voice purchases and hide inappropriate skills.

The much-used feature was updated on Wednesday, April 25 with support for a number of useful new tools, including a resource called Magic Word that encourages children to say “please” when issuing commands to Alexa.

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FreeTime Unlimited builds on that service, adding support for more than 300 free audiobooks from Audible, music playlists from iHeartRadio Family and new Alexa skills developed by child-friendly providers, like Disney and Nickelodeon.

Being a product aimed at little tykes, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is bound to take a tumble or two. That’s why Amazon is offering all owners a two-year warranty, as part of which it will replace any broken unit for free – no questions asked.

The Echo Dot Kids Edition is available to pre-order in the United States for $79.99 from April 25, with units scheduled to start shipping to customers on May 9. There’s no word on whether it will make its way to the United Kingdom.

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