Amazon is refreshing its line of Echo speakers geared toward kids with the new Echo Dot Kids Edition. The new Kids Edition is based on the third-generation Echo Dot released last fall and comes with all of the improvements of that model, such as much better sound quality and a nicer design. Instead of coming with add-on bumpers, like the previous Echo Dot Kids Edition, the new model is available in either frost blue or rainbow fabric colors.
The Kids Edition versions of the Echo speakers have age-appropriate experiences for kids, including different responses to questions, voice-based educational games, and kid-focused podcasts. A year’s subscription to Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited is included with the Kids Edition, which provides access to over 1,000 Audible audiobooks for kids, premium Alexa skills from Sony and Disney, podcasts, and other kid-friendly content. Parents can choose an age bracket to limit the content to what’s suitable for their children, specifically block explicit content, as well as set time limits for how long the Echo Dot can be used and when Alexa will provide responses.
Amazon is also adding the Alexa Skill Blueprints feature to the Kids Edition, which will let kids build their own custom Alexa experiences. The company has come under recent scrutiny for allegedly keeping recordings from the Echo Dot Kids Edition from a number of US Congress members, though the company has maintained that it is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a two-year worry-free guarantee against breakage and will sell for $69.99, with a limited time promotion at $49.99 when it ships later this month.