LeapFrog, a purveyor of tablets and other education tech designed specifically for kids, has leapt into the wearables space — with a gamified fitness-focused wearable, also for kids, which lets parents set their offspring fitness challenges to keep them active.
The LeapBand is a brightly coloured wrist-mounted wearable with a screen that displays cartoon animals that encourage its wearer to engage in active play — such as ‘wiggling like a worm’, or ‘hopping like a kangaroo’.
Engaging in the displayed activity then earns the wearer points, which unlocks a tamagotchi-style virtual pet to keep them coming back for more. However this is gamification of something that is already a game (play), so it remains to be seen whether kids will find LeapBand endlessly engaging or quickly get bored of its ‘challenges’ and move on to something more fun.
There are a fair few other makers eyeing up the potential of dedicated wearables for kids. Yesterday we covered Tinitell, a wrist-mounted phone and GPS tracker that’s being designed specifically for kids. There’s also Guardian, a Bluetooth tracker aiming to give parents peace of mind about the whereabouts of their offspring, and Moff, a gesture-powered bangle that augments kids’ play with sound effects.
LeapBand hops into the space with its ‘fitness made fun’ angle — but it is unclear whether this kids wearable has any more legs than the other dedicated kids wearables attempting to lift dollars out of parents’ pockets.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the band will cost $40 and is being aimed at kids in the four to seven age-group. Parents can then monitor their kids’ activity via a website or app and set challenges for them.
Remote parenting? Yep, there’s a wearable and app for that…