Monday, May 5, 2014

The Future of Wearable Technology…for Kids!

Kids in the 21st century are getting accustomed to technology at much younger ages. "Around one quarter of children aged 12– 15 (26%) and 18% aged 8-11 have their own tablet computer, while household ownership of a tablet has more than doubled since 2012 (51% vs. 20%). Use of a tablet computer at home has tripled among 5-15's since 2012 (42% vs.14%) while one-quarter (28%) of 3-4's use a tablet computer at home" (Digital Kids: how children are using devices, apps and media in 2013). With such compelling statistics about the use of technology among children, Leapfrog has decided to venture into the wearable technology market. They already create apps and tablets focusing on education, but the LeapBand is a similar concept to adult fitness bands (i.e. FitBit, Jawbone, Nike Fuel Band, etc.), encouraging play/ healthy living habits for children.

As mentioned in the video above, Trying Out Leapfrog LeapBand, a Fitness Band for Kids, the LeapBand is an interactive “fitness gadget” for children ages 4 to 7 with 50 games and challenges such as “walk like a crab” or “spin like a helicopter.” Once an activity is completed, new games and “virtual pets” are unlocked on the device. Another feature, designed for the parents, is the ability to monitor your child’s activities and control what challenges they can and cannot do.

Children are exposed to technology use all the time. In a technology driven era, children are sometimes expected to know how to use these devices. (Tablets in the classrooms, smartphones, etc.) Providing them with a popular technology that also promotes physical activity is a great way to support healthy lifestyles later on in their adult years, while learning the ins and outs of using different technologies.

Can the worries of parents about their children not getting enough exercise or outdoor activity due to technology now be put to rest? Do you think we should embrace the use of technology for our children?