A new activity tracker aimed at children has launched, taking up the challenge of getting kids into doing more exercise.
The Nabi Compete band works much like a traditional fitness tracker and uses a watch battery lasts three months between changes. Kids get two bands in the $39 pack, which connects to a smartphone to report their progress.
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However, unlike adult activity trackers, kitted out children get a little more useful, motivational insight into their days. Goals are tied in with famous places and landmarks, which add an educational twist; instead of doing 10,000 steps a day they can climb the Eiffel Tower or walk the Brooklyn Bridge. What's more, activity bursts are measured in terms of the calorific content of food types– so they can burn off slices of pizza.
Kids get 'Go points' for their exercise, which can be spent on buying virtual pets and other rewards. They can also share emoticons with friends via a social network called Nabi Konnect.
Jim Mitchell, CEO of Fuhu, said, "In designing Nabi Compete we looked closely at what keeps kids engaged with gaming, social interaction, friendly competition and performance rising to the top of our list. We believe we have developed a product and platform that will fuel their interest and awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle and personal fitness."
It's a great idea and the added relevance around fitness tracking progress reporting is something that wearable companies could learn for adult focused bands.
People will obviously say that the best way for kids to get fit is to go out and play – and of course it is. But kids are as tech savvy as adults, if not more, and we're living in a global obesity crisis, So anything that can motivate a healthy lifestyle and educate kids about the content of food and the exercise required to burn it off is a good thing in our eyes.