Fitbit looking to make a kids smartwatch with 4G & safety features
Fitbit is reportedly building a smartwatch for kids with both cellular and GPS connectivity. This is in order to allow for safety features.
The rumour should come as no surprise to anyone. The company has been said to be working on such a device for a number of years now.
Fitbit has a few activity bands for little ones in the Ace series. But these are primarily focused on fitness tracking and have no cellular abilities.
Essential reading: Best Fitbit for kids & teenagers
The market for kids fitness trackers and smartwatches is a growing one. Apart from Fitbit the only other mainstream brand with a significant presence is Garmin. But just like Fitbit, it currently doesn’t have a kids smartwatch – only fitness bands.
Fitbit has been working on this for at least 3 years
Just prior to the Google acquisition Fitbit had taken under its belt Hong Kong-based Doki Technologies. The deal went through on October 22nd 2019. Which means it was a last minute transaction that could have easily gone awry.
Fitbit’s original aim was to release a fully fledged smartwatch by the end of 2020. The Google deals has obviously shifted things around.
If you’ve not heard of Doki Technologies, the Hong Kong-based startup made the world’s first kids video watch a while back. The last addition to its arsenal was unveiled in July 2019. Dubbed dokiPal, it comes with 4G LTE connectivity, location tracking, video calling AI voice assistance, fitness tracking and more.
Reportedly, the plan was to use Doki’s platform and hardware knowhow to conjure up a 4G kids smartwatch. This would likely take on functionality from the existing Doki offering. It turns out, this could still be on the cards.
A cellular Fitbit smartwatch for older kids
As revealed in an article by Business Insider yesterday, the smartwatch Fitbit is working on will be aimed at older kids. It will have cellular and GPS connectivity and comprehensive safety features.
Beyond that, the smartwatch will have fitness tracking abilities and will be “designed to help kids form healthy relationships with their phones and social media”. All of this sounds very much along the lines of the Doki offering.
The device was, apparently, prototyped with and without a screen. As part of a possible subscription service, there’s an idea to send users a new band each month.
The work on the kids watch is part of “Project Eleven”. Interestingly, this team is being led by Anil Sabharwal who is a former executive in charge of Google Photos. Don’t expect the Fitbit smartwatch for kids tomorrow. This project has a 2024 launch date.
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