Just a year after revealing a video-calling device made for kids, Amazon is shutting down Amazon Glow.
Bloomberg first reported the news, which was confirmed by Amazon in a statement.
“At Amazon we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas to delight customers,” an Amazon 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.”
Amazon Glow, which debuted in September 2021 at an introductory price of $249.99, combined video calling with connected activities. It had a dedicated 8-inch display to let kids see friends or family, and projected a 19-inch touch-sensitive image onto the surface in front of the device.
Using a special mat, kids could play a game, follow along in a story, build a puzzle or do art activities in that projected space, using physical items, while people on the other end could use their own tablet to interact digitally in the shared virtual space in real time through the Amazon Glow app.
Amazon partnered with Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon, and Sesame Workshop on content, and the device came with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ at launch.
The device garnered a 4.5-star review on Amazon, with 5-star ratings making up 72% of 507 reviews. Some complained that Glow devices couldn’t communicate with each other. One reviewer said the device was good for calling grandparents, but otherwise their kids used tablets “10X more.”
Amazon released Glow last year alongside other devices including its Astro home robot.
Some of Amazon’s hardware projects have seen big success, such as its Kindle and Echo lines, but others have failed, most notably the Fire Phone.
Amazon said earlier this year it was determined to get costs under control and return its consumer business to profitability, after doubling its fulfillment capacity and hiring hundreds of thousands of workers to meet demand during the pandemic.
The company is freezing hiring for corporate roles in its retail business, according to a report from The New York Times on Tuesday, joining others including Meta and Google that are slashing budgets amid the broader economic downturn.