In terms of toys, what could possibly be better than LEGOS? How about LEGOS, combined with Alexa? That's the latest idea from Amazon, who has paired the unlikely duo in a newly announced service called "LEGO Duplo Stories." The new service ("skill," in the parlance of Alexa) will be available on any device that offers Alexa support including Echo Dot and Amazon Echo. It provides a selection of stories with audio prompts that guide children in the construction of something with their LEGO Duplos that ties in with the story being told.
The stories are quite inventive, and change based on the responses of the children listening and interacting. For example, one story involves going on vacation via plane, and based on what the children say they want to pack, the vacation destination will be either to a warm or a cool place, with various build instructions being introduced along the way.
According to the company, the goal is to use these interactive stories as a means of developing color recognition, social, and cognitive skills.
It's an innovative approach, and an excellent use for a technology that is becoming increasingly common in American homes. To access the stories, simply say "Alexa, open LEGO Duplo Stories," then follow the prompts to begin the interactive experience.
Currently, the stories span ten different themes and work in tandem with existing Duplo sets. It should be noted that you can still interact with the skill even if you don't own a set of LEGOS, or don't have all the required pieces (although obviously this will make it even more interactive).
James Poulter, the Head of emerging Platforms and Partnerships at LEGO, had this to say about the new offering: "Voice is such a powerful tool for play as it is one of the most human ways of interacting. Long before we can type, read or control a device, we listen and speak."
An exciting development, and it is available right now.