- Garmin, the maker of GPS tracking devices, introduced an activity tracker for kids that features designs from Disney brands including “Star Wars” and Marvel comics, according to a press release. The Vívofit Jr. 2 wearable band is available with Minnie Mouse, Captain America or BB-8 from “Star Wars.”
- Each band theme has a corresponding mobile app that urges kids to get off the couch and complete active missions to advance in a digital game. They can unlock new character step icons by being active for 60 minutes every day. Parents can use the app to review their children’s daily activities, assign chores or set homework reminders that appear on the device.
- The activity tracker features a customizable color screen, extended battery life and comes with one of two band options: a stretchy band for smaller wrists or an adjustable band for older kids. The Vívofit device is available nationwide for $99.99 and $29.99 for each additional character band.
Companies like Garmin, FitBit and Apple have introduced wearable products like activity trackers and watches that aim to help people be more aware of their activities and encourage more physical activity. Garmin introduced its first Vívofit Jr. for children last year. The kid-centered devices are smaller versions of the company's Vívofit fitness tracker for adults.
In the Vívofit Jr. Garmin and Disney are combining physical activity with mobile tech by gamifying exercise and making it more fun for kids and easily trackable for busy parents. This is just the latest example of brands leveraging wearable tech to bridge digital and offline worlds, while also likely driving app installs and mobile engagement for the brands among both kids and parents.
The global market for wearable technology is poised to grow about 17% this year worldwide, according to a Gartner study cited by TechCrunch. The researcher forecasts global sales of 310.4 million wearable devices this year with $30.5 billion in sales. About $9.3 billion of that amount will likely be for smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear watch.