Amazon has reportedly been looking to enter the kids smartwatch market with a GPS and Alexa-enabled wearable.
The kids market is currently dominated by Garmin and Fitbit, with Apple also looking to make some headway. There are lots of small brands, though, fighting for a slice of the pie. If things go as planned, soon another big brand might join this space – Amazon.
Amazon kids-focused wearable
According to a report from Bloomberg the retail giant is specifically looking at a product to target the 4 to 12 year olds. Codenamed Seeker, the wearable would take the form of a wristband, keychain or clip.
As its codename indicates, it would be GPS enabled to let parents monitor the whereabouts of their little ones and stay in contact with them. The voice-activated wearable would also have the ability to communicate with Alexa.
In addition to keeping kids safe, the idea of Seeker is to provide kids with easy access to Amazon’s children focused content. Hence, the Alexa compatibility. This would also be what really distinguishes it from the competition.
The Bloomberg article says the device has been some time in the making. Amazon was initially targeting a 2020 release date. It is unclear why this did not go as planned and how much the project has moved forward.
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The only other info that is currently known is that the company is considering a $99 price-point for the kid-focused gizmo. This includes a Kids+ subscription lasting a full year and wireless connectivity.
Kids+ is already available. For $2.99 per month it gives access to thousands of kid-friendly movies, TV shows, apps and games.
The bigger picture
The subscription model is something the company has used before for a wearable. Amazon Halo was launched towards the end of last year.
In addition to the usual fitness data, the screen-less device has some unique abilities. This includes voice tone analysis to figure out your “social and emotional wellbeing”, along with body fat analysis. More recently, a movement health feature was thrown into the mix.
Some of these do conjure up the creep factor. You have a device that is listening out to what you are saying. Plus it requires images with little clothing on in order to arrive at body fat estimates.
A few weeks ago, Amazon also received FCC approval for a radar-like sleep tracking device. This appears to be a palm-sized hexagonal pad connected to a metal wire base that will sit on your bedstead. From there it will send out millimeter-wave radar to sense your breathing while you are lying asleep. The team has apparently been working on the gadget for at least a year.
Health and fitness wearables have been around for just over a decade now. But it is only recently that Amazon has shown interest. This is a lucrative and fast growing market so don’t be surprised if the retail giant tries to make some headway in this space.
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