Yoto Player debuts as kid-friendly NFC speaker without a camera, mic, or screen

Yoto Player

Technology made with kids in mind is a burgeoning market. Even Amazon has been hard at work with special Echo speakers and Fire tablets filling out its lineup. A new product called Yoto Player is here and it takes a different approach than what’s found in competing devices. It accepts NFC cards that play linked stories, podcasts, and more. Continue reading for additional details.

Yoto Player dials back screen time

The internet is a mixed bag. While there’s a lot of helpful information and fun to be had, it can also bump up the timeline on things you’ve yet to introduce your child to. This dilemma alone makes giving a kid an internet-connected device kind of stressful, and that’s before you factor in the effects of screen time.

As mentioned, Yoto Player relies on proprietary NFC cards that tell this internet-connected device exactly which content to play. This aims to alleviate concerns of giving a child unfettered access to the internet. It’s basically a speaker with “a simple matrix display [that] brings audio to life.” The device doesn’t have a camera, microphone, or screen, keeping its capabilites quite basic.

Pricing and availability

Yoto Player is priced at $107 and is available for pre-order now, with shipping due by the end of this month. That price does not include the $14 Yoto Starter Pack which is described as “the cards you need to get started.” To continue receiving cards for one year, an $80 Yoto Club subscription is required. When you add all of that up, it turns out that Yoto Player is kinda pricey. That being said, Yoto is not mass produced and is an item that does not have other product line to help it stay afloat like alternative tech for kids.

9to5Toys Take

While I am personally drawn to Alexa products, I am undecided regarding when I would introduce a wide-reaching piece of technology like an Echo speaker or Fire tablet to children. I really don’t think there is a clear-cut answer, so I am happy to see a device like Yoto stepping in to provide parents with a large variety of options.

What I find most refreshing about Yoto Player is that it was made by a couple of parents that love technology, but have identified that it can cause us all to become quickly distracted. With Yoto, kids are encouraged to stay focused on one card at a time without concern that a notification may roll in and whisk them away, potentially establishing an impatient attitude at an early age.

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