Amazon Glow No More
Amazon has quietly stopped selling the Amazon Glow interactive projector and video call screen for kids about a year after its unveiling at Amazon’s annual device showcase, as first reported by Bloomberg. The Glow combines a video screen and a virtual touchscreen for long-distance activities. It is now listed as ‘currently unavailable’ after sales opened in the U.S. following six months of invite-only access.
Amazon pitched the $300 Glow as a way for kids to engage in face-to-face conversation with distant friends or relatives on the 8-inch video chat screen while playing games or reading books with them via the 19.2-inch projected touchscreen. The device operates through a connected app that’s part of the Amazon Kids+ package of kid-focused software. The Glow doesn’t include the Alexa voice assistant, though AI powers some of its features. That said, an interface that’s relatively complex compared to a smartphone and a design that seems built for pandemic lockdown conditions may have put a damper on sales.
“At Amazon, we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas to delight customers. We also continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments,” Amazon said in a statement. “We will be sharing updates and guidance with Glow customers soon.”
The Glow joins a pantheon of experimental Amazon devices and features retired over the last few years. over the last few years. In June, Amazon shuttered support for the Cloud Cam, an early Alexa smart home device since overtaken by Blink and Ring. Both the Dash Wand and the Echo Look departed in 2020. The Dash Wand’s barcode scanner and microphone were created to encourage users to ask Alexa to order products, while the Echo Look carried Alexa’s fashion advice into a user’s closet. All of those devices had only a narrow range of tasks and were superseded by other brands owned or acquired by Amazon. The company often shepherds potential future devices through the Build It program, where the product decision is based on pre-orders. That’s how one of three colorful designs for the Echo Dot by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg was chosen, as well as a smart sticky note printer.