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Amazon Kills Glow, Its Ugly Video Calling Gadget For Kids

Glow was originally released just over a year ago in September 2021.

Glow was originally released just over a year ago in September 2021.
Image: Amazon

Amazon is officially discontinuing its Facetime-esque, Facebook-Portal-esque Glow gadget, which was aimed at kids and allowed them to read books, play games, and have video calls with distant relatives.

In September 2021, Amazon released the $250 Glow. Likely born out of the pandemic’s push to stay connected remotely, Amazon added Glow to its burgeoning portfolio of original hardware products like Astro and Echo. But just a little more than a year after Glow’s release, Amazon has decided to kill the product, a spokesperson from the company confirmed to Gizmodo. The company did not disclose sales figures for Glow. Facebook similarly killed the consumer version of its Portal video calling device in June after weak sales.

“At Amazon we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas to delight customers,” the spokesperson said. “We also continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments. We will be sharing updates and guidance with Glow customers soon.”

A quick search on Amazon’s website also confirms that Glow is no longer up for purchase. According to Amazon’s original press release, Glow featured an 8-inch display screen where kids could read books, play games, and talk with their relatives and friends via video call. Those on the other end of the Glow call could play along using a Glow app. Glow also featured a 19-inch touch-sensitive interface that was projected onto the surface in front of the device.

It’s not immediately clear why Amazon axed Glow, but the tech giant’s foray into consumer tech products has been hit or miss. The Echo and Alexa are arguably staples in the modern household, while the Astro robot—a glorified Alexa on wheels—has failed to catch on with its hefty price tag and limited release.

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