Fitbit has officially launched the Fitbit Ace, the company's first activity tracker designed for children, specifically kids ages 8 and older. The band was first announced in March.
"As childhood obesity rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to empower the entire family to embrace a healthy and more active lifestyle,” Fitbit CEO James Park said at the time. “It can be hard to start and stick to good habits, and we know from our community that network effects are key to getting and keeping people motivated. By bringing that experience to families, it can make healthier habits feel more achievable by making it fun and engaging."
The Fibit Ace will track steps, sleep, and activity minutes, and can connect to a smartphone. It also comes with an adjustable, showerproof wristband in two bright colors. The Ace encourages kids to stay active by giving them a buzz on their wrist, which reminds them to walk 250 steps each hour. The tracker also gives kids feedback with celebratory messages and collectable badges. Kids can also participate in daily challenges against family members or friends using the device.
“Fitbit Ace opens up a direct line of communication across the family to help parents and their children understand how physical activity impacts overall wellbeing and health,” Dr. Ryan Rhodes, an exercise psychologist and director of the Behavioural Medicine Lab (BMED) at the University of Victoria, said in a statement. “When parents have insight into their kids’ activity, they are better positioned to then promote less screen-time and more physical activity in a fun and motivating way.” Rhodes is member of the Fitbit Advisory Panel.
As Fitbit rolls out its first kid-focused device, protecting kids' privacy and safety is also a major consideration. Children won't be able to create an account without parental consent, and parents will be able to approve any friend requests their child has on the Fitbit app, as well as customize the health data kids see.
"Kids have access to appropriate stats for their age, including steps, active minutes and sleep," the company noted in a statement. "It won’t highlight calorie intake, weight and body fat/BMI, or public social features."
The Ace is available starting today at Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Target, and Fitbit's website. The price tag is comparable to Fitbit's adult-targeted offerings: $99.95 for the wearable.