Amazon's Alexa assistant already has a massive number of 'skills' - third-party add-ons that can extend the functionality of Alexa. For example, you can use the Domino's skill to order pizza with just your voice, or the BBC News one to hear recent world events. But now, Amazon is encouraging developers to create skills aimed at children under the age of 13.
Amazon is calling these "Kid Skills," and there are a few differences between them and normal skills. When enabling a Kid Skill for the first time, whoever owns the Amazon account has to explicitly give permission to Amazon for the skill to work. This is due to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires that before personal information is collected from a child, a parent must be notified and consent to the service.
There are some other limitations on Kid Skills as well. Amazon is only allowing them in the United States at the moment, presumably because there are similar laws in other countries that Amazon has to work with. Kid Skills also can't include any advertising, make any products/content/services available for purchase, collect any personal information, or include inappropriate content.
Amazon already has two Kid Skills available to try. The first, simply called Sesame Street, allows children to call Elmo to learn about the letter of the day. The second, called 'SpongeBob Challenge,' tasks kids with memorizing orders at the Krusty Krab, and apparently includes 70 characters from the show. The 'My Leg' guy better be one of them.
Developers can find more information about building Kid Skills at the source link below.
- Alexa Developers