The Yoto Player – An educational, children-friendly audio platform

This audio platform improves family life and delivers stories, music, radio, and podcasts that are beneficial for the entire household.

The Yoto Player is more than a smart speaker. It’s a screen-free audio player, approved by parents and designed to educate and entertain children, educating the next generation of independent minds.

It was designed after thorough research consisted of interviewing families and children in order to understand what they find important when choosing a tech product for the whole family.

Yoto Player

The minds behind the Yoto Player – Yoto&Pentagram

Yoto is a London based, children-product company established in the year of 2015. This service was founded on the idea that children can be educated with the help of technology without giving them actual “screen time”. 

Yoto, in order to fully carry out the base idea, teamed up with Pentagram, the world’s largest independently-owned design studio. Pentagram consists of 25 partners – practicing designers in various fields, with offices in London, New York City, San Francisco, Berlin and Austin, Texas.

Primarily, Yoto and Pentagram started improving and redesigning Yoto’s first prototype of the Yoto Player, launched in 2015. The final result is an audio player perfectly balancing smart, educational, and kid-friendly.

Yoto Player - kids interacting with player

Materials & Techniques – Soft, plastic rounded casing associated with high-end technology   

The Yoto Player is encased in a flexible plastic case, with a matrix display in the front, and illuminated sides to help bring the audio content to life. Stored inside the case are a premium 5W speaker, wifi and Bluetooth features and a built-in battery.

The player can be recharged easily, by simply placing it on a magnetic dock. The Yoto company logo, a smiling friendly face, was carefully incorporated in the Yoto Player’s design.

Yoto Player - kids interacting with player

Style & Aesthetics – Playful, modern design resembling the classic cassette player

The Yoto Player is shaped in the form of a cute little grey-colored box,  in favor of the kids. Instead of a screen, on its front surface, there is a 16-by-16-pixel color display that projects interactive content without distracting from the audio.

On top of the player, there is a slot for inserting cards that include stories, songs, and curated podcasts. On its sides, there are two simple coral-colored buttons that allow you to skip content forward or back, and to adjust the volume.

Yoto Player - kids interacting with player

A design appealing both to children and their parents

The NFC content cards are divided into six categories: Stories, Music, Podcast, Activities, Sound Effects and Radio, each of them more colorful than the other. They are adjusted for kids, so any kid aged 2+ can slot into the Yoto player to unlock a world of appropriate and child-safe music, stories, and interactive learning games.

Users can also purchase a Make Your Own card, which allows children to design and upload their own homemade content.

Each card unlocks different content, so children can choose by themselves what they listen to. Parents can also get creative and use blank cards to adjust their own content – music, podcasts, or personal recordings.

Yoto Player - customizable cards and audio

Design memento – Designed by families for families 

The Yoto Player is keeping children entertained, helping them to develop their imagination and keeping them away from screens at the same time.

The team behind the Yoto Player works tirelessly on more updates, in order to bring more stories and educational content for the youngest.

Yoto Player - front display

The writer’s comment – The Yoto Player is a true gem for children by age and by heart

We live in the digital era, which poses some threats for children. It’s concerning how addicted to screens and virtual realities kids can get. In my opinion, the Yoto Player is a truly helpful speaker designed with the latest technology that offers a traditional way to educate your children – by listening to stories and all kinds of interactive podcasts. In the end, the children and their future are what matters the most.


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