With wearable tech growing in popularity and many different activity trackers available to buy, one market which hadn’t yet been utilised was activity trackers for kids.
Increasing activity levels is beneficial for everyone, from the young to the old. So LeapFrog have released the LeapBand, a gamified activity tracker to encourage activity, in a fun and virtual way.
LeapBand is aimed at four to seven year olds, coming in colours of green, pink, blue and organge. It works by giving kids their own customised virtual pet which is displayed on its large screen and guides them using audio instructions through activity challenges and games, where points are won to unlock more games and rewards. Some games promote learning while others make activity subtle and fun through commands to “walk like a crab” or “spin like a helicopter”. Kids can even see their progress in an easy to understand ‘energy bar’ and are encouraged to learn healthy habits by looking after their virtual pet.
Although it might not be viewed as the most stylish of trackers from an adult perspective, its appeal to kids through gamification is clear. However, as with any kids toy, boredom can soon arise, so ironically its accompanying app allows the child to compete as their virtual pet in mini-games on a tablet or smartphone. Parents can also use the companion app to monitor their child’s activity levels throughout the day.
The LeapBand will be on sale in the UK later this summer and will cost £29.99. Even though its novelty may eventually wear off, it’s a step in the right direction to getting everyone more active!
Adie Blanchard – Researcher