Amazon’s Glow goes the way of the Fire Phone and dodo

Roben Walker
amazon glow
Enlarge / Amazon has discontinued its Glow children’s gadget.

Amazon

Amazon’s Glow is no more. The tech giant has discontinued the children’s device, which included an 8-inch display and a projector that could display games on a mat, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

You can’t buy the Glow on Amazon’s website anymore. According to Bloomberg, the device was on sale for $150 (down from $300) on Tuesday before it became listed as unavailable later that day.

The publication cited slow sales as a reason for the product’s demise. It also noted the device’s focus on remote connectivity as pandemic-related restrictions eased. Amazon announced Glow on September 28, 2021, before launching invite-only availability, followed by general availability in March.

“We… continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments,” Kristy Schmidt, an Amazon spokesperson, told Bloomberg. “We will be sharing updates and guidance with Glow customers soon.”

The Glow allowed children to video chat, draw, and play games with family members remotely via the 8-inch display. It also projected onto a 19-inch mat that children could interact with. One obvious downside was the requirement of an Amazon Kids+ subscription for playing games and accessing other content, like books and art. The service is $5 per month. Glow came from Amazon’s Grand Challenge lab, which makes experimental products.

Some reviewers praised Glow’s innovation, but some, like PCMag, also lamented Glow’s reliance on a subscription and phone or tablet, considering the high price. And some reviewers, including CNET and The Verge, noted glitchy behavior.

Amazon workers who had been focused on Glow are being moved elsewhere within the company, Bloomberg reported.

As the publication noted, other recently reported moves by Amazon seemingly aimed at keeping costs low amid slowing retail sales include closing warehouses and, according to a Bloomberg report yesterday, a hiring freeze on retail corporate jobs.

Amazon’s Glow device will meet other Amazon devices sent to product hell, including the Amazon Smart Oven convection oven/air fryer/microwave announced in 2019 and the FireOS-based Fire Phone, which Amazon killed off in 2015.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/10/amazon-discontinues-glow-video-calling-gadget-for-kids-after-one-year/

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