Parents of small children, your prayers have been answered. A kid-friendly version of the Amazon Echo called “Free Time” will launch May 9th for $80. Coming in a variety of playful colors, the Amazon Free Time will have several parental controls put into place such as restrictions on purchases, filtered music streaming and a bedtime feature that suspends use. The Free Time will also solicit a “please” and “thank you” from its users, reinforcing politeness.
But will this kid-friendly device ultimately serve as a tool or a distraction? It can be both depending on when you allow your child to use it. Make a compromise where they can get ready for school while streaming their favorite music, but they must put it away to concentrate during homework hours. Everybody wins!