The original Vivofit Jr. tried to make fitness tracking a little more fun for kids, but for its sequel Garmin is getting a little help from a friend. In this case, that friend is Disney.
Disney is bringing its family-friendliness to the kid fitness tracker game, hopefully making kids care a little more about tracking their fitness levels by injecting a little Captain America and Minnie Mouse.
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We don't yet know how much fun a Disneyfied Garmin could be, so until then here's everything you need to know about the Garmin Vivofit Jr.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2: Design
Loud and fun is the best way to describe the Garmin Vivofit Jr.'s design. It takes the design of the adult Vivofit and crunches it down, with a much smaller 11mm x 11mm display (at a whopping 88 x 88 resolution!). There's also a small button below that. No surprises here, the bands are designed for kids.
There are two sizes. There's a stretchy band intended for kids age 4 to 7, and then there's an adjustable band with a buckle intended for kids 6 and older. You can choose from three designs, each of which have two variants.
Those designs are based off Disney, Star Wars and Marvel characters. The two Disney designs are based off of Mickey Mouse's bae, Minnie Mouse. One of them has a white background with little Minnie silhouettes and party-like graphics adorning it, while the other is red and features Minnie making different faces.
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The two Marvel designs feature Captain America heavily, one with his shields, another where he's joined by pals Hulk, Iron Man and other Avengers. There are actually three Star Wars designs. Two of them are based off the ever-adorable little BB-8 droid, one of which is orange and white, while the other one features some Resistance vehicles. The third one takes a trip to the dark side, showcasing Stormtrooper helmets.
Each of these silicone-based fitness trackers has got a swim-ready 5ATM water rating and, well, that's about it. They don't include a heart rate tracker or GPS or any of those other big-ticket features.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2: Features
So what do these kid-friendly trackers actually do? They keep track of steps and basic activity. When kids hit their goal of 60 minutes of daily activity they advance in a larger narrative/game they're taking part in.
Those games, depending on which Disney IP you go with, are Ultron's Revenge, BB-8's Adventure, and Mickey's Birthday Surprise. When the activity goal is met, you open up the Vivofit Jr. app and will be able to progress in the adventure.
Parents can log into the app to keep track of each kid's steps, sleep, activity level, and chores. Oh yeah, parents can set reminders for chores and assign tasks to certain kids. The bands will ring and vibrate and remind the kid what they need to do. Completing these tasks can earn virtual coins, which can be redeemed with the adults for agreed-upon rewards. Basically, you can tell your kid "if you get 50 coins we'll go out for ice cream."
On the band, reminders for chores and tasks show up as simple little pictures. So if they need to finish homework, there'll be a paper and pen; if they need to brush their teeth, a little tooth brush will show up.
Parents can even set challenges that the whole family can take part it. Kids can do that too, setting up "Toe-to-Toe Challenges" that allow their bands to sync with friends who also have the Vivofit Jr. 2, keeping everyone in sync and competing against each other.
Finally, Garmin wants you to know that once you complete your IP-based challenge that isn't the end of it all. You can buy a band in another IP, unlock a whole new adventure and start the fun again.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2: Battery life
Garmin says battery life lasts up to a year before you'll need to replace the battery. So you're not going to have to worry about charging all these bands every night or every week. The kids can just put it on and you can forget about it, instead worrying about their activity level.
Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2: Price and release date
The Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2 is available now for purchase, though you've got a bit of a wait if you do order one. Right now, Garmin is estimating three to eight weeks of processing before shipping, depending on which size and design you choose.
Each tracker will cost you ¬£79.99, and if you want to buy a new band to unlock a new adventure they'll be ¬£27.99 each.