Amazon is expanding its suite of tech products aimed at kids with a brand new smart projector called the Amazon Glow.
This device is designed to help children connect with family and friends through reading, drawing, and playing without having to be in the same physical space as each other.
Rather than projecting onto a wall, the Glow shines down onto a touch-sensitive pad that reacts to input from whoever is using the device. Kids can read their favorite books from the Amazon Kids Plus service (the Glow comes with a one-year subscription), draw using virtual tools, and play games.
Meanwhile, a family member can appear over video call (thanks to Glow’s in-built screen) and interact with play space using the free Amazon Glow app on their smartphone or tablet.
Parental controls ensure that only pre-approved contacts can connect to the Amazon Glow, and the camera and microphones can be shut off in an instant using the privacy shutter.
If you want to try the Amazon Glow out for yourself, it’s available in the US for $300.
Amazon has yet to announce a release date for other territories, so we’ve reached out to see if we can find out more (if we hear back we’ll be sure to update this piece).
Better than a regular video call?
We haven’t had a chance to try the Amazon Glow out for ourselves yet, but reactions to the device online have been mostly positive so far from what we can see.
There are reports that the device suffers from its fair share of glitches but kids seem to love the chance to play with their relatives, rather than just having to chat over a boring video call.
Earlier this year, we wrote about how VR games had a similar effect on us when catching up with friends and family. Instead of having to put up with an impersonal video call, we all had a much more enjoyable time by chatting over a round of virtual golf together.
VR isn’t for everyone, and isn’t really designed for kids right now. The Amazon Glow seems to capture a lot of the ideas that made our virtual interactions great and packages them in a much more kid-friendly device.
We’ll have to see if reactions to the Glow remain positive, though for those looking to travel less because of ongoing health concerns or a desire to reduce your carbon footprint – Amazon’s latest gadget could be just what you’re looking for.