Here's a roundup of Amazon's new products for kids
At Amazon's September 28 event, a slew of smart devices and a cute home robot called Astro were unveiled to the masses. The e-commerce company also showcased a new device called the Amazon Glow aimed at children, new "Hey Disney" Alexa skills in partnership with Disney, and a Disney-inspired Echo Show case made by OtterBox. Here's everything Amazon released for kids at the event.
Amazon Glow integrates touch-responsive projected surface, video calling screen
The Amazon Glow is an interactive video chat device that helps adults and children interact and play together over the internet. The Amazon Glow works in two main parts. The child interfaces with an 8-inch display that projects a 19-inch interactive surface onto a white silicone mat. The adult the child is interacting with would be displayed on a screen built into the projector.
Parents can control Glow via the Amazon Parent dashboard
Parents can set up who the child can call, using the Amazon Parent dashboard. The device's cameras and four mics can be turned off at will. The person the child contacts would be able to control the child's mat with the free-to-use Glow app optimized for tablets. The glow app runs on iOS 14 and newer models while Android support are in the pipeline.
Amazon Glow packs games, activities, puzzles, 1,000+ books
The Glow app shows the child's activity mat and face as a picture-in-picture livestream. Amazon Glow can be used to play games such as checkers and go fish, solve puzzles, read thousands of books, et al. The activities are part of a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus, priced at $3 per month after the first year completes.
Calling an adult is mandatory to watch branded video content
Weirdly, although Amazon has partnered with Disney, Mattel, Sesame Street, and Nickelodeon for branded content, the child can only watch the videos when connected on a call with an adult. Another interesting design decision is that Amazon has not included Alexa support for the Amazon Glow. The company said it would continue to listen to customer feedback regarding this.
Amazon Glow initially ships with tangible accessories called GlowBits
The Amazon Glow will initially ship with a free accessory called GlowBits. The free GlowBit is tangible Tangram pieces that work with the projection mat. Other GlowBits would be sold separately. Amazon Glow will launch only in the US, in mid-October for $250, going up to $300. Customers can request early access to the Glow program on Amazon's website from today.
Echo smart speakers with 'Hey Disney' available at Disney resorts
Besides the hardware launch, Amazon has joined hands with Disney to announce a new voice assistant derived from the Alexa platform, called "Hey Disney." It would work alongside Alexa. Echo smart speakers equipped with the Hey Disney assistant would be available at rooms in Disney Resort hotels. Disney skills will become accessible to all Echo owners via the Alexa skill store in 2022.
'Hey Disney' users will have 1,000+ new interactions to discover
Amazon Devices and Services SVP David Limp said, "By combining the strength of Alexa's technology, with Disney's unmatched storytelling expertise, we're creating the next generation of immersive experiences to make guests' vacations more memorable." With "Hey Disney," Echo devices will be able to answer queries in the voices of legendary toons Mickey, Dory, and Olaf.
Resort guests can request Resort-specific amenities, guidance on Hey Disney
With "Hey Disney," customers will have access to a new repository of facts, trivia, jokes, interactive experiences, and stories especially curated by Disney. The tailor-made voice assistant will also help Disney Resort guests request more blankets or towels, or ask for the fastest route to sections of the amusement parks and dining areas. The integration is being enabled through Amazon's Alexa for Hospitality service.
OtterBox makes the new Mickey-inspired Echo Show 5 case
On a related note, Amazon has also started selling a new Mickey Mouse-inspired stand for the Echo Show 5, priced at $24.99. The product is made by OtterBox as a part of its Den Series and is already available for pre-ordering. Together with the Amazon Glow and optional GlowBits, the Alexa skills should keep Disney-loving children entertained!