(Last Updated On: January 26, 2020)

Millennial parents have been waiting for something like this.

NFC cards being used on the Yoto Player (From: Yoto)
NFC cards being used on the Yoto Player (From: Yoto)

Smart speakers are all around us, but because of numerous privacy concerns and complicated setups, they’re simply not for kids. That changes with the Yoto Player, which is aimed directly at children and their desire to learn and play.

The Yoto Player is smart in the sense that it can connect with a smartphone using the proprietary app. But unlike other smart speakers such as Google Home or Amazon Echo, this device doesn’t have an integrated microphone or camera, ensuring a kid’s privacy.

Playing the Right Cards

The Yoto Player works by inserting NFC-enabled (Near Field Communication) cards that contain music or audiobooks which you can either buy from Yoto or upload yourself using the smartphone app. This ensures that the child will only play what he or she is given, and not what’s found on the web.

The end goal of Yoto and Pentagram, the designer of this speaker, is to reduce the screen time children experience on a daily basis. By allowing the Yoto Player to fetch music directly through Wi-Fi without a screen, kids are given the choice of what they want to listen to minus the potential harm they’d get from browsing the internet on their own.

Yoto Player beside a Yoto Club subscription card (From: Yoto)
Yoto Player beside a Yoto Club subscription card (From: Yoto)

Kids are given the choice of what they want to listen to minus the potential harm they’d get from browsing the internet on their own.

Being a portable Bluetooth speaker, there’s a rechargeable battery inside that can be juiced up using the bundled magnetic dock. And despite being a kid’s product, it delivers stereo sound and a matrix display in front to stimulate one’s mind while listening to some tunes.

Of course, the unit itself is safe from sharp edges and if parents want to take over, the Yoto Player can turn into a basic Bluetooth speaker to play streaming music or podcasts from any player.

Completing the Yoto Experience

The Yoto Player retails for £79.99 (~USD$105) and can be pre-ordered as early as now. If you’re interested in the starter pack, you can add £10 (~USD$13) to get several cards to get your kid pumped. And if you want to commit to the exclusive content, you could subscribe to the Yoto Club for £60 (~USD$78) for content that’s delivered directly to your home for one year.

Yoto Player with accompanying smartphone app (From: Yoto)
Yoto Player with accompanying smartphone app (From: Yoto)

You may be thinking that this is a hefty price to pay compared to the subscription services and smart speaker you already have, but Yoto believes that you’re paying for your child’s safety and your own convenience when investing in its product.