Google Home has added more than 50 new kid-friendly games, activities and stories to its line of smart speakers.
Available in the US with the Google Assistant on Google Home, other smart speakers and eligible phones, the experiences include games and activities produced in partnership with Disney and Sports Illustrated.
Within its Play category, kids can ask Google Assistant to engage with Mickey Mouse Adventure, Sports Illustrated Kids Trivia, Voice Tic-Tac-Toe, Freeze Dance (which can be Halloween-themed) and Musical Chairs. Other experiences accessed within the assistant’s Learn and Imagine categories include a space trivia game, a help with homework option and retellings of classic fairy tales such as Snow White, Goldilocks and Cinderella.
As for parental controls, adults can now add accounts for their children via Google’s Family Link program, which gives under-13s their own parent-managed, personalized Google Assistant experience when they log in. Google Home has also improved its speech-recognition capabilities with Voice Match, a function that allows families to train Google Assistant to recognize up to six voices.
Google Home’s Assistant smart speaker hit the market last year following the arrival of Amazon’s Echo, which also just launched its first experiences designed specifically for kids for its voice assistant Alexa devices. Some of the first companies to partner with Amazon on its free, kid-focused Alexa skills include Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop.
Google and Amazon’s increased IoT offerings for kids come as 9% of US kids under the age of eight were found to have a voice-activated virtual assistant or device in the home, according to a new study by Common Sense Media.