Finding a kid-friendly device like an e-reader or audio player is a pain point for a lot of modern parents. Kids' content, like educational podcasts, shows, or audio books, are often part of bigger catalogs when using a platform like Amazon Prime or Google Play. So the parent either has to cue up the content themselves, or hand the operation over to their kid, who has to navigate a large library of options. And even if parental controls are set up for those platforms, the physical controls and interfaces aren't designed for clumsy hands or developing brains.
Some families get around this with smart speakers, but those come with privacy concerns—and mean your kid will be shouting at a speaker every time she wants to hear something (and, how will she even know what she wants to hear?). Sure, there's a kids' edition of the Amazon Kindle, but it looks like a clunky iPad, a cartoon version of adult tech. Also? It's yet another addictive screen.
Worried about the potential side effects of excess screen time, and propelled by Montessori teachings that see independence as a boon to child development, two parents created a connected screen-free audio device that plays stories, podcasts, audio books, music, and more, called the Yoto player. After version one of the device sold out in 2019, Yoto worked with Jon Marshall's and Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell's teams at Pentagram London to redesign the device, now available for preorder. The result is a thoughtful piece of tech designed specifically with kids in mind—as the site proclaims, "No cam. No mic. No funny business."