Amazon Mulls Alexa Wearables For Children

Amazon is looking into developing Alexa-powered wearable GPS-equipped devices for children aged 4-12, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday (July 14).

The new wearable, which is code-named Seeker, could be a wristband, keychain or clip, Bloomberg reported, citing documents it reviewed. The voice-activated wearable would also offer access to Amazon’s child-focused content, and parents would have the ability to monitor and communicate with their children.

Amazon has been working on Alexa-enabled devices geared toward children. A wearable Disney device — code-named the Magic Band — will roll out before the close of this year. The details of the device are unknown; it could be a toy or could connect to the Magic wristband that is used in Disney’s parks and hotels, per the article.

The two companies are already working together, as Amazon’s cloud powers the Disney+ streaming service. Amazon also moved to extend several months of free Disney+ access to Amazon music service subscribers.

The child-oriented device expands on Amazon’s goals regarding consumer hardware. In one example, Amazon last year rolled out the fitness band Halo, which tracks physical activity, sleep, body fat and the wearer’s mood. 

In 2019, advocacy groups and lawmakers criticized moves to introduce devices for children, leading to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, along with other groups. The complaint includes accusations of Amazon saving recordings indefinitely, as well as violations regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Amazon has said that it is compliant with laws.

Amazon in May rolled out an Echo device geared toward children, the Echo Show 5 Kids.

Wearable technology to facilitate payments is now past the novelty phase, as contactless payments and other tech tools move to eliminate physical contact.