Fitbit is rolling out its latest child-centered wearable called the Fitbit Ace 3 that can track activity and sleep. The latest technology is geared at children over the age of 6 and comes with an eight-day battery life.
The watch and connected app let families set fitness challenges. Parents are able to set limits as to what their child can see, and manage their children’s friend requests. The tech is designed to help motivate kids to get 60 minutes of activity and walk 250 steps per hour. Kids and their families can personalize their goals. The watch is also swim-proof.
One of the ways that Fitbit is pitching this as kid-friendly is by including animated clock faces that change as daily goals are met. They are also incorporating the Minions into the watch art.
The Fitbit is priced at $79.99 and will hit the markets on March 15.
WHY IT MATTERS
Fitbit is positioning this technology as a way to help kids get active during remote learning. The CDC recommends that youth ages 6 to 17 be active for 60 minutes a day. A study in BMC Public Health found that physical activity rates went dropped early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among older children.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. had high rates of childhood obesity. In fact, according to the CDC, 18.5% of children and adolescents had obesity.
“As families continue to navigate remote learning and social distancing guidelines, it is a constant challenge to keep kids moving, motivated and happy, while trying to balance the time they spend on screens for school, as well as free time," James Park, VP, GM & cofounder of Fitbit, said in a statement.
“We’ve infused Ace 3 with experiences that bring more fun into kids’ day-to-day lives to help them, and their parents, reconnect with the joy of movement, helping instill important, foundational healthy habits that can last a lifetime.”
THE LARGER TREND
In January, Google completed the $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit. The deal was initially slated for 2019, but first had to clear regulatory challenges. At the time of the acquisition, Google’s SVP of devices and services, Rick Osterloh, said Fitbit would continue to contribute its consumer products and technology, and Google will collaborate with its software, hardware and AI expertise.
Meanwhile, Fitbit has continued to work on adding capabilities to its tech. In September, the wearable company scored FDA clearance for tis ECG app, catching up to competitors Apple and Withings.
This isn’t Fitbit’s first time creating products for kids. In 2018, the company launched the Fitbit Ace for kids over 8. The next year it launched the Ace 2.
This isn’t the only wearable target at children. For example, Garmin’s vivofit jr. series is targeted at children.