Amazon used its annual hardware event on Wednesday to go all-in on Alexa’s new large language model-infused capabilities, touting how easy it’ll soon be to have a natural sounding conversation with the bot. This also extends to kids, as the company just announced Explore With Alexa. This is a pared-down and kid-friendly version of the updated chatbot that specializes in topics like animals and nature. It’ll even play trivia games with your tykes and disperse daily fun facts.
Of course, this is for kids, so the tech has been developed with guardrails to protect them from the more sinister parts of the Internet. Amazon says Explore With Alexa will launch at some point before the holidays and will eventually extend beyond the pre-approved topics of animal and nature.
To accompany this new Alexa technology, there are some forthcoming kid-friendly devices. The Echo Pop Kids is a smart speaker designed for the younger members of your family. It ships in two SKUs that fall along typically accepted notions of gender. There’s an Avengers one and a Disney princess one. The Avengers one specializes in conversational tidbits about Earth’s mightiest heroes and the Disney princess model specializes in Mulan, Cinderella and the like. The Echo Pop Kids ships next month for $50 and includes six free months of Amazon’s Kids+ subscription service. Pre-orders start today.
There’s also a pair of forthcoming tablets. The new Fire Kids tablet is aimed at younger children and the Fire Kids Pro is being marketed to older kids. These are 10-inch tablets that are 25 percent faster than the previous generation, with 1080p FHD screens, 3GB of RAM and access to specialized kid-centric apps. Each tablet costs $190 and ships with a year of Amazon’s Kids+ subscription service. You also get a two-year warranty out of the box that covers the kind of accidental mishaps that parents deal with every single day. Pre-orders start today and shipments begin next month.
Both tablets boast access to the company’s Play Together feature that gives kids access to online multiplayer titles, with nearly a dozen forthcoming games, and an app called Music Maker. This experience lets children become “composers, blending instruments and other sound effects together, to create a unique composition with the help of AI, all through touch.”
Follow all of the news live from Amazon’s 2023 Devices event right here.