You know how everyone is currently obsessed with purchasing speakers that link up with some sort of artificial person that lives in a server belonging to a big company? Those devices are made for adults who do all sorts of adult things, like online shopping and listening to music that features words like "fuck" and terms I can't say here if I want to keep my job. Not exactly ideal if you have kids in the house, which is why Amazon's developed a child-friendly Echo Dot Kids Edition.
For anyone suddenly worrying about why a child might want an Echo or access to Alexa, this isn't primarily a device for children. From the sounds of things it's a device for households with kids, so they don't do something stupid and somehow use Alexa to listen to the 50 Shades of Grey audiobook or knock it off the counter and cause your fake person to shatter into a million pieces.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes with a two year warranty, a protective rubber case (available in red, blue, and green), and a year's subscription to the kid-friendly the FreeTime Unlimited service. That service comes with expletive and ad-free radio, 300 age-appropriate Audible audiobooks, alarms that sound like characters your kids are obsessed with but you know nothing about, and kid-friendly premium Alexa skills from the likes of Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. Existing FreeTime Unlimited subscribers can also add their subscription to a regular Echo device at no extra cost.
FreeTime Unlimited does cost $3 a month after that year is up, but if you choose not to continue the Echo Dot Kids Edition will be rolled back to a basic (and free) FreeTimeservice that differentiates it from regular Echo devices. That means you can block certain aspects of what Alexa can do, including shopping, skills, and so on. That way they won't accidentally instruct Alexa to play Alien on your Fire TV. It even has time limits so they won't be keeping themselves up all night chatting.
The Echo Dot Kids Edition is only available in the US for the time being, though it isn't likely to be long before Amazon starts rolling the device out internationally. It also costs more than the standard Echo Dot, at $80, even if the hardware is almost identical.
Giving a kid their own Echo might not be the best idea in the world, especially if you're worried about privacy, but at least with a kid-focused version of the device you can be sure that they're not going to get up to no good. It even has a feature that offers positive reinforcement when kids say "please" so they don't grow up demanding things from people. Or, at least they shouldn't, seeing as how a lot of people don't understand what "please" means. [TechRadar]