Wearables: Leapfrog LeapBand, Ibitz activity tracker, Kidfit activity and sleep tracker
Who’s trying them: The Lee kids and some of their friends
Yes, there are kid wearables as well! Each of the three we’ve tried are about encouraging kids to be active, and incentivizing healthy activity through rewards.
The Ibitz tracker is a small device that clips to clothing or shoes, similar to the Fitbit One or Jawbone Up Move. It tracks steps daily and over time. The activity is shown on an app that has a section for kids and grown-ups — with separate logins and passwords — where goals and rewards are determined. The device has no display. Instead of a simple activity report, the kid section has a space theme where you’re shown blasting into space while the device syncs.
In the parent section, adults can set the number of steps to the next “planet” and that goal appears on the screen in the kid section. Parents can also associate rewards with meeting goals, like additional screen time, special time with a parent, or activities with friends.
The Kidfit is worn on the wrist, like several of the Fitbit, Jawbone, and Microsoft wearables. The change for kids? The device is housed in a slapband-style wristband. It tracks steps, total distance, and time asleep, and also allows parents to set goals for daily steps or distance, or for habit-forming goals like hitting the daily goal 10 times. (The goal can be steps, distance, or a score calculated by Kidfit based on those.) The app shows activity history for the week, month, or year to track progress. Like the Ibitz, parents can also set rewards for meeting goals.
The LeapBand doesn’t track activity the way the others do, but instead encourages kids to be active throughout the day by having them earn “joules” (points) for being active, plus it provides kid-centric get-up-and-move activities like “wiggle across the room like a worm,” or do jumping jacks while it counts down.
The LeapBand is worn on the wrist and looks like a large watch. It’s linked to an app where kids pick a pet who competes in “Petathalon” games like archery and long-jumping. Doing well at those activities also earns joules, and those joules unlock new activities and characters in the app and on the LeapBand. The LeapBand also provides good tips on healthy eating and the importance of moving around. The parent-side allows adults to set quiet time for the device, like during school hours, and select which physical challenges it will give to kids so that they’re age- and physically-appropriate.