Wearable tech just hit the kids market as market-leading children’s tech company LeapFrog has announced the first activity tracker for children, LeapBand
LeapBand takes its inspiration from the growing trend of adult fitness wearable technology. It encourages kids to get active in a fun way and learn about healthy lifestyle choices via their own personalised virtual pet. Read our Leapfrog LeapBand review.
Sales of adult activity trackers from the likes of Fitbit, Nike FuelBand, Jawbone, Misfit Shine, Polar Loop and Samsung are booming, and kids are already begging for their own devices. LeapFrog, makers of the popular LeapPad Ultra kids tablet, are first to market with a fitness tracker built specially for kids.
The LeapBand activity tracker tracks a child’s physical movements so the more active a child is, the more points they earn with their virtual pet. As the child earns points through active play, they can unlock additional games, challenges, levels of play and virtual rewards for their on-screen pet.
It has 50 different activities and challenges, and doubles up as both a digital and analogue watch.
LeapBand has a colourful fit-band style with high-resolution colour screen, compared to the more minimal adult activity trackers.
It features a built-in accelerometer, rechargeable battery and water-resistant design, making it robust enough to withstand the bumps, knocks and falls associated with active kids.
LeapFrog LeapBand activity tracker price and UK release date
The £29.99 LeapBand activity tracker is aimed t children aged 4 to 7 years old.
It will be available in green, pink, blue and orange online and at major UK retail locations in August 2014. Additional activities and challenges will be free and available for download via LeapFrog Connect for LeapBand.
LeapFrog LeapBand activity tracker features
The LeapBand activity tracker comes with eight different customisable pets from LeapFrog’s popular Pet Pals franchise – a cat, dog, dragon, monkey, panda, penguin, robot and unicorn – that can be customised by colour and name.
With their very own virtual pal, children can play 10 preloaded active games and challenges with access to 40 additional free challenges. As they move and earn points, kids can unlock each of the additional eight pets and earn virtual toys for each of them as they stay engaged and learning with mini-games including Pet Boogie, Pet Chef and Pet Salon.
Kids will have fun completing a variety of activities including “Walk like a crab,” “Spin like a helicopter” and “Pop like popcorn” no matter where they are.
LeapBand activity challenges are designed to keep kids active by tapping into their own individual movements without any required equipment.
It features parental controls to set school and Quiet Time modes so the LeapBand doesn’t affect those times when children shouldn’t be leaping about.
In addition to the active play on LeapBand, the fun is extended to include a free downloadable companion app called the Petathlon.
In the Petathlon app, kids can compete as their virtual pet in six mini-games like archery, surfing and bobsledding to win extras including medals and new tracksuits for their virtual pet. The Petathlon app is available for download to a child’s LeapPad Ultra, iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
“We understand that helping a child reach their full potential not only includes helping them learn numbers and letters, but encouraging them to establish healthy habits and get the exercise they need every day through play,” said Dr Jody Sherman LeVos, director of LeapFrog’s Learning Team.
“LeapBand is a great way to get kids up and active and help them develop a strong foundation for healthy lifestyles. LeapBand takes inspiration from the growing trend of adult fitness wearable technology and makes it perfect for kids by bringing the fun and play of physical activities to life with their very own virtual pets.
“One of the best parts of the LeapBand experience is that kids will have so much fun playing they may not realise all of the physical exercise they are experiencing and the healthy habits they are learning,” said LeVos.