Go outside and play. That’s what our mother always told us. Sure, we had electronics, like Game Boys, that kept us inside on occasion, but nothing compares to the digital media available to kids today. So how do you get today’s youth to get off their smart phones, computers, or TVs when there’s so much more content available online and, let’s be honest, adults are doing the same thing? Good old incentivization.
The ibitz activity trackers from GeoPalz allow parents to monitor their children’s activity levels and allot time with electronic devices as they see fit. The ibitz PowerKey and Unity fitness trackers attach easily to your kid’s shoe, and use a wireless monitoring to log how much physical activity your child gets.
Easily synced with you phone or tablet, the ibitz system allows parents to ‘lock’ their child’s smart phones, video games, TVs, and other digital devices. Kids can then unlock their devices by meeting certain activity and fitness levels set by their parents.
The application for kids features an avatar-esque character that represents your kid.
The Kids app is an interactive game that motivates kids to be active by walking, running and playing, and keeping their ibitz tomagotchi like character alive. The more the child is active with their ibitz the more power their app based character has. They can interact with the game character by feeding it food, water and even putting it to sleep.
In this way, the entire ibitz tracker system is turned into a video game type application, rooted in actual physical activity. Last weeks CES revealed that new partnerships with gaming companies are providing greater breadth to the ibitz system, as companies create new features, levels, and applications that can only be accessed through unlocking fitness goals. Additionally, children can earn tech rewards for steps walked and other measurements gathered by the pedometer-like device.
The system can also link to adults’ fitness monitors, whether they’re ibitz or some others i.e. Nike Fuelband, allowing for greater monitoring and interconnectivity. On another level, the device also opens new possibilities for group fitness efforts, such as a school-sponsored Relay for Life, as activity levels are easily monitored and coincide with raising donations.
The device costs between $35-50, depending on power and features. Increasing activity levels among children is definitely important, as childhood obesity is on the rise and all aspects of life are becoming evermore convenient. Programs like the NFL’s Play 60 work to engage children, but is an ‘electronic ankle bracelet’ type device the answer for your kids? You may already reward your kids for being physically active, doing their chores, etc., but ibitz seemingly takes it to an entirely other level. What do you think: do the pros outweigh the cons?
It’s certainly no question that an active lifestyle is important to living a healthy life, and maybe this is the most effective means to that end.
Interview via Mashable