Wearable devices such as smartwatches have increased in popularity recently. While adults are drawn to Garmin and Fitbit sport tracking features and the Apple Watch’s intelligent interactions, there are also watches aimed at the children’s market too.
Smartwatches generally extend functionality found in other devices like smartphones and make them available on your child’s wrist. They offer downloadable apps that can perform many of the same tasks on the watch screen as you can on larger devices.
Parental controls also work in the same way, with Apple and Google app stores for respective devices having rating systems and strict submission guidelines for apps. However, if you require extra control over the content it will normally be available to set through the linked smartphone rather than directly on the watch itself.
VTech Kidizoom is a good example. For just £35.99 it lets children take photos and videos with its dual cameras. More playful than grownup smartwatches, the VTech keeps the focus on fun with special effects for picture and games like Monster Detector.
As with other fitness bands or move sensitive technology, smartwatches like this offer games that encourage children to be active. The VTech Kidizoom also offers a motion sensor, pedometer, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch and voice recorder.
Regardless of which smartwatch you go for, it’s worth talking to your child about appropriate behaviour around taking and sharing pictures. Also, some devices track their location and have social media options so these should be set up carefully ahead of handing over to the child.
It’s worth noting that most smartwatches and activity trackers link to a smartphone or tablet app to configure and present the information they monitor. The information gathered can also be stored remotely in the cloud, allowing the phone or tablet to connect to the internet to access the information.
If you are not comfortable with this information being shared for your child, there are some specific offline options like the LeapBand by LeapFrog, or the more recent Disney themed Garmin Vivofit Jr. 2.
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