While other tech brands near and far have been using the past few months to tout new hardware, Amazon has been relatively quiet apart from a budget version of its Echo Show. The company often launches a slew of Alexa-powered products at its event in the fall, and we figured Amazon would wait until then this year.
But if you were getting bored with Amazon, check this out: Amazon has announced a 2nd-generation version of its family-friendly Echo Dot Kids Edition.
"At Amazon, we try to make families’ lives easier every day — whether that’s by delivering diapers and groceries in a pinch, helping find that perfect Halloween costume, or creating family-friendly experiences on Amazon devices," the company wrote in a blog post. "Our Echo Dot is the easiest way to add Alexa to any room, and the newest edition has rich, full sound that is 70% louder than the previous generation. We’re thrilled to bring that experience to kids and families alike with the all-new Echo Dot Kids Edition."
The new Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in new colors, including Rainbow and Frost Blue, and "will sound great" according to Amazon. (The older version comes in red, blue and green).
It's not yet clear how exactly this Echo Dot Kids Edition will be different from previous iterations of the product. But photos indicate that it's a kiddie version of the third-generation Echo Dot, while the previous Kids Edition was a second-generation Echo Dot. If that's the case, you'll see a marked improvement in sound quality.
Amazon has also announced new Alexa Skill Blueprints for Echo Dot Kids Edition devices (and other Echos that are FreeTime-enabled) specifically for children's skills. These will help you (alongside your kid, presumably) easily create kid-friendly Alexa skills. Don't worry: The Blueprints are only accessible on the parent's account, so your kid can't use them unsupervised.
Amidst concerns about Alexa storing recordings, you may be worried about your child's privacy. Amazon notes that none of the skills available within FreeTime Unlimited collect personal information. You can also delete any recordings, including your child's, in the Alexa app.