Amazon held its annual fall hardware event today, announcing more than a handful of new devices and services, including the new Amazon Glow for kids. The Glow allows the younger generation to connect with family members and trusted friends in a way that goes way beyond a video call.
Kids can talk with and see their family or friends using the 8-inch LCD display, but that’s just the beginning. The Glow’s killer feature is a 19-inch, touch-sensitive projected area and object scanning feature that creates a virtual play area for the kids and their remote family members or friends.
The immersive communications device merges the physical world with the virtual, enabling kids to interact with physical objects while the remote viewers can respond virtually. A drawing can become a puzzle that the child and the remote relative can work on together. Remote callers don’t even need a Glow device. They can interact using a tablet and the Glow app.
Glow ships with a wide variety of hands-on activities that are bundled into the Amazon Kids+ service. Kids and their remote family members can read books together, play games, and even create works of art. It’ll ship with content from Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Workshop. Amazon plans to continually expand the activities with content from future partners.
Activities on the Glow include Glow Bits, which are mini-activities that allow kids to learn and explore using physical objects. The Glow ships with the Tangram Bits puzzle game, the first Glow Bits content Amazon is releasing. Kids use physical shapes while the remote family member uses a digital version to solve challenges together. Amazon plans to add new Glow Bit challenges in the future that users can purchase.
Like most Amazon devices, the Glow ships with privacy features to protect children from unwanted interactions. Kids can only call those on a preapproved calling list that parents configure in the parental controls. Parents also can immediately shield the child by disabling the camera and the microphone by closing the privacy shutter.
The Glow will be available in the coming weeks with a retail price of $249. Glow includes a one-year subscription to Kids+, a mat that covers the projected area, and a protective mat case. Amazon also added a two-year worry-free guarantee that means if the Glow breaks, Amazon will replace it for free.
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