LeapFrog’s Activity Tracker For Kids
The growing childhood obesity problem in North America is no secret. Yet, kids would rather spend time playing video games and watching TV than playing outdoors. So, what better way to get kids off the couch than to combine a video game (in the form of a watch) with outside activity than to create the world’s first fitness tracker for kids? That’s exactly what the company LeapFrog has done.
The LeapBand combines fitness tracking technology with cartoons to get kids off of the couch. Interested? Here’s how the LeapBand works.
Cartoons Tell All
The LeapBand includes an on-screen cartoon character that talks to kids throughout the day. The cartoon that kids see is completely customized, and is marketed as a ‘pet.’ If you’re thinking of Tamagatchi pets, you aren’t completely off base. After kids customize their LeapBand pet, the pets then take kids through different activities throughout the day. The more activities that a kid completes, the more points that kid gets. The idea is to collect as many points as possible with the end goal being getting a kid to move.
Each band contains more than 50 activities, and none of the things that a virtual pet will ask a kid to do are very complicated. In fact, most of the activities included in this band are fun to do. Kids will be asked to do things like ‘walk like a crab,’ and ‘pop like popcorn.’ So, this band might actually work for kids that want to do silly things, but don’t often think of those things on their own. LeapFrog has done its homework where marketing is concerned too.
The band comes in orange, blue, pink, and green. Pets include animals like cats and unicorns and frogs (amongst others), and the bands are small enough to wear every day – plus, the bands are entirely kid-proof. The bands can also be connected to a tablet or smartphone through the LeapBand app (after a kid unlocks the first 40 activities), and this app lets kids play against other kids (in the form of a pet competition). Will your kid get bored with this band?
I’m guessing that kids will get sick of the bands in a month or two, but it is a really great way to get a stubborn kid off of the couch, and this band also teaches kids to be silly (which isn’t something that many kids today get to do very often).
Right now, the LeapBand is available in the UK only, and it’s priced at 30 pounds. This band isn’t going to be the answer to kid obesity, but it’s an interesting take on the whole fitness tracker trend – and it’s the first tracker aimed at kids, so that’s something to consider. If for no other reason, though, your kids might just like having a virtual pet. The bands are expected to reach North America sometime soon. Would you buy the LeapBand for your kids? Or, is this just something that’s not necessary?