The Fitbit Ace is the first fitness tracker that the wearables company designed for children, but questions remain on whether it will be able to help keep kids healthy.
Fitbit announced the child-focused device alongside the Fitbit Versa, its latest attempt at a smartwatch following the unsuccessful Fitbit Ionic.
Here's What The Fitbit Ace Can Do
The Fitbit Ace is now open for preorders on the official Fitbit website, with the device carrying a price tag of $99.95.
The device was created for children ages 8 years old and up, and is basically a modified version of the design last seen in the Fitbit Alta HR. However, so that it will be able to keep up with children, the fitness tracker comes with improved durability and is splash-resistant but not waterproof.
The fitness tracker will display fitness and sleep goals that children should try to achieve to maintain their health. For example, the CDC recommends 60 minutes of daily physical activity and at least nine hours of sleep every night for kids. The Fitbit Ace will monitor these statistics and issue notifications that will remind children about these goals.
Parents will be able to create family accounts that will monitor all the Fitbit devices. In addition to keeping track of how many steps a child has taken for the day, parents will have oversight over friend requests that their kid receives.
Fitbit, however, promises that the data collection practices of the Fitbit Ace are compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which will protect the children wearing them from harm.
Will The Fitbit Ace Help Keep Kids Healthy?
The reminders for daily goals will be helpful to keep children on track to fulfilling them. However, either it may be difficult to get children to follow the reminders, or the reminders may not be needed at all by very active kids.
In addition, some are concerned that having children wear the Fitbit Ace will make them even more absorbed in technology. While there is nothing wrong with using technology to address issues such as child obesity, Fitbit will have to roll out more features and software to the Fitbit Ace to have children focus on fitness, and not on the device.
Fitbit Versa vs Apple Watch
The Fitbit Ace was unveiled along with the Fitbit Versa, a smartwatch that will look to challenge the Apple Watch starting with its $199 price tag.
The Fitbit Versa offers the standard smartwatch features plus fitness tracking capabilities. The device, however, does not come with cellular connectivity nor GPS, which means that it will have to be tethered to a smartphone at all times. In addition, checking social media and emails through the Fitbit Versa is not possible.
The Fitbit Versa comes with a four-day battery life though. Will that and the cheaper price tag attract customers away from the Apple Watch?