Amazon has confirmed it is to bring a version of its Echo Dot smart speaker aimed at children to the UK for the first time.
The Echo Dot Kids was first introduced in the US last year and has now been purposefully built for the UK.
The tech giant said the device, which houses voice-activated assistant Alexa, will include its Amazon Kids parental controls which allow parents to control the content their children can access, and will automatically block other inappropriate content such as explicit song lyrics.
The smart speaker hardware has also been redesigned to be more child-friendly and comes in either a panda or tiger design.
Amazon has previously faced questions over the privacy and data security it offers on Echo and Alexa-enabled devices – and in 2019 added a number of new tools including the ability for user to opt-out of sharing their audio recordings with the firm for quality control analysis and the option to delete old recordings.
As part of the safety measures on the Echo Dot Kids, parents will also be able to set time limits on when children can interact with Alexa, while the smart assistant has also been reconfigured to give more child-friendly answers to questions and praise children if they ask questions politely.
Amazon said the device will also offer access to its Kids+ subscription service, which includes a range of children-friendly audio books, radio stations and other content.
It confirmed the new version of the Echo Dot will cost £59.99 and will be released on July 21.
“We’re excited to bring Echo Dot Kids to the UK for kids to have fun and learn with Alexa,” Amazon’s vice president of devices in the EU, Eric Saarnio said.
“More than 20 million kids and parents around the world already enjoy Amazon Kids. With Echo Dot Kids, Amazon Kids and Amazon Kids+ on Alexa, parents can have peace of mind knowing their children are getting family-focused age-appropriate content such as listening to Audible books, asking questions, using premium Alexa skills, enjoying the Magic Word feature, and more — all in a child-safe and secure environment.”
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