Amazon Glow is the video calling device for kids that get distracted easily

Amazon released a bunch of new devices today, with one being kinda different from all of the rest. It’s called Amazon Glow, and it’s a video calling device with a twist, aimed at families with kids who have to be apart.

The device has an ordinary, portrait orientation screen so your kids can see who they’re talking to, but that’s the only ordinary thing about the device. It uses a projector, a special mat, and sensing technologies to turn the surface it’s on into an interactive screen, for things like playing games, doing puzzles, and reading books together.

That means all of the things you’d usually do while you’re at Grandma’s house can be done while still being socially distanced. It’s to make video calls feel more natural for the younger generation, and I’m interested to see how well it works in practice.

It’s also got a bunch of AR content, aimed at bridging the physical-digital play divide. For example, you can scan your kids’ favorite toy, then they can ‘smash’ that digital scan to turn it into a puzzle to solve. It’s also got what Amazon calls ‘Glow Bits’ which are physical items that can be used with digital games. It ships with one such set, called ‘Tangram Bits’ and Amazon is going to bring out more kits as time goes on.

If you want one, you’ll have to join the invitation-only queue. If selected during this phase, you’ll only pay $249.99, instead of the $299.99 final retail price of the Amazon Glow.

You’ll get the mat, a mat case, the Tangram Bits puzzle game, and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which is normally $2.99 a month.

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