Speed Reads

gone too soon

Mattel is scrapping its voice assistant for kids amid privacy concerns

Alexa Jr. won't be hitting playrooms anytime soon.

Mattel has dropped its plans for a children's smart home hub called Aristotle — essentially an Amazon Echo for kids — amid privacy concerns. Aristotle was designed to span a child's development and do everything from calm a crying baby to help a preteen with her homework. Beyond its audio and voice capabilities, Aristotle also included a camera to use as a baby monitor.

However, Aristotle has been a subject of controversy since launching under Mattel's Nabi brand back in January, as children's health and privacy advocates argued that the device could see too far into children's lives. Some critics petitioned Mattel to scrap the device, while pediatricians expressed concern that children would grow to depend on Aristotle over their parents, as Aristotle's responsiveness meant it could comfort a child before a parent could.

As a result, the toy company opted not to release Aristotle, saying the device did not "fully align with Mattel's new technology strategy."

You'll just have to let Alexa turn on the night light for now.