I am a big believer in children today having less screen time and more interaction with the world around them, more so when they are travelling somewhere new! That said technology is not a bad thing for kids, just look at the brilliant Gator Watch! Now Garmin, who earlier this year released the Fēnix 5 Smartwatch, have just plugged a hole in the wearable market; an
fitness activity tracker for kids, that they will want to wear!
Garmin Vívofit Jr. 2
The Vívofit Jr 1 was the sort of device a parent would think is a good idea for their child to have, but there was nothing that would endear the kids to the device.
Garmin, have not only fixed this problem but possibly landed a Xmas best seller (no more mention of Xmas until Dec 24th!). Gone are the 3 generic style options of the Jr1, and in comes a partnership with Disney who, not only have Minnie Mouse, but also own both the Star Wars and Marvel brands.
Then they focused on the display. The Jr1 had a simple Black & White 10x10mm screen, which is now replaced by a slightly bigger 11x11mm 8 colour memory in pixel display.
Finally, the Jr1 was only available in a slip on band style and now there are 2 size options, a slip on or normal watch band with adjustable straps for older kids.
Although the more noticeable changes are on the outside the new Vívofit Jr.2 does have some software upgrades to help you and your child better interact with the device, and make more use of the new colour display.
The three core features return; Step Counter, Move bar and sleep tracker but now there are mobile app adventures that will correspond to the device your child is wearing!
Mickey’s Birthday Surprise: A Disney Adventure
In this adventure, kids go alongside Minnie Mouse and her friends as they plan a surprise birthday party for Mickey Mouse. Decorate for the party with Daisy Duck, whip up the birthday cake with Goofy, and get everything ready without Mickey Mouse finding out!
BB-8’s Adventure: A Star Wars Story
In this adventure, kids go alongside BB-8 and the pilot Zepha as they tackle app adventures on the planet Jakku. Search abandoned starships for missing parts, meet Maz Kanata, and help rescue BB-8 from danger!
Ultron’s Revenge: A Marvel Avenger’s Mission
In this adventure, kids go alongside Captain America and the Avengers as they tackle app adventures in New York City and try to defeat Ultron. Meet the invincible Iron Man at Tony Stark’s lab, help Thor capture the mischievous Loki, and even accompany Black Widow on top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. missions.
It is now also possible for your child to set their own reminder alerts on the device and unlock rewards for the more activities they record!
The battery life is slated for a year and is user replaceable. Garmin have given the Jr2 a 5ATM water rating which means they can keep it on for swimming and it will not break after a few hand washes.
Parents can manage each device with the free smartphone app ( Android | iOS ). Setting goals, reminders and alerts for each child, and their data will sync back to your device when in Bluetooth range .
The Garmin Vívofit Jr.2 will go on sale later this year. The smaller band style option has no pricing as yet but are aimed at the 4-7 age bracket. The larger adjustable strap model will be £79 direct from Garmin and is for the ages of 6 upwards.
If you finish the adventure on the device or your child has a change in tastes you can buy each of the bands in the range for £28.