Fitness trackers are basically a grownup excuse to mess around with a gadget under the guise of self-betterment. But why should adults have all the fun? Kids’ electronics maker LeapFrog just unveiled the LeapBand, a wrist-worn fitness tracker that encourages kids to get up and do stuff.
The LeapBand is kid-ready, packing a colour screen, accelerometers and a rechargeable battery with 4-6 days of juice in a water-resistant blue, green, or pink body. LeapBand kids get to pick from one of eight animal avatars (cat, dog, dragon, monkey, panda, penguin, unicorn, or, uh, robot) that they feed, nurture and navigate through 10 preloaded activity challenges. The watch encourages kids to perform a bunch of motions, like “walk like a crab” or “pop like popcorn”, earning points with activity to unlock toys, other pets and up to 40 additional challenges.
The LeapBand also works with a companion app (for Android, iOS, or, naturally, LeapPad devices) called Petathalon, where kids’ avatars can jump to a tablet or smartphone screen and compete in additional mini games. Parents can use LeapFrog Connect to set the kiddie fitness device to School Time, Night Time, or Quiet Time, where the device will continue to track activity but won’t display games.
Does the generally rambunctious four-to-seven-year-old demographic really need a fitness tracking smartwatch-lite? That’s up to you, dear parent. But if you’ve got $US40 and you want your munchkin to feel the joy of the quantified self, the LeapBand hits the streets in August.