I’ve heard from lots of parents that their kids love the Amazon Echo because they can tell it do things without having to interact with a screen, and when Amazon opened up Alexa to developers, it gave other gadget makers the chance to put the digital assistant inside. Nucleus, a new intercom launching on Lowe’s today, comes with Alexa installed and can call any phone number, so long as the device has the iOS / Android companion app installed. The owner of the Nucleus just has to pre-approve the phone number, so not just anyone can start a video call. It's being billed as a new age intercom system, but in reality, it's just a tablet with extra privacy features and simplified design so kids can make calls.
It’s also reminiscent of the Ily, which I wrote about earlier this year and was also designed for kids making phone calls. Ily doesn’t come with Alexa, so unlike Nucleus, you can’t ask it the day’s weather or to add items to your grocery list. Still, Nucleus doesn't support Spotify, Pandora, Belkin WeMo, or Philips Hue. You’ll need an Echo to handle those commands. The Nucleus is available now for $249 on the Lowe's website and Amazon.