I’ve written about 10 Great Alexa/Echo Things for Kids.
It seems that that I’m not alone in thinking that these hands-free personal digital assistants can be an educational tool for kids. Toy company, Mattel, has a clone of Alexa/Echo aimed at kids named Aristotle.
Personally, I would have gone with Socrates as first version. Then you could naturally follow it up with Aristotle and Plato.
At first I thought the idea of dumbed-down version of Alexa/Echo was silly. However, Mattel has added a few very interesting twists. Most notably, it’s combined it with a baby monitor and turn on nightlights and/or play music. That’s useful if I happen to be awake watching television at 10PM. However, if it’s 2AM, the last thing I want to do is wake up my wife by talking to a device. (Fortunately, we’ve advanced beyond the need of a baby monitor.)
Another feature is that Aristotle is able to be trained to understand children’s voices. That’s important, because my kids have had some difficulty summoning Alexa (which may be a blessing!).
Aristotle appears to have two basic modes: kids and parents. The “kids” mode is invokes the Aristotle assistant for things like reading stories and playing games. The “parents” mode seems to be powered by Amazon Alexa. Sounds like it has a bit of a split personality, but it could be promising.
It looks like you’ll have to pay $300 for the niche focus. That seems very expensive in the world of $40 Echo Dots. It’s a little more reasonable compared to an $180 Echo, but it still tips the scale as being too expensive in my opinion. Maybe they are looking to start high and lower the price over time.
Hat Tip: The Verge