The Future of Kids Wearables: More Than Just Tracking Devices

Adult wearables are a huge market; 1 in 6 Americans currently own a wearable device and this is set to treble in size to $25 million by 2019. But kids wearables are a market truly poised to skyrocket. And with good reason. As well as promising to improve health outcomes for children, the category sits at the confluence of trends that are here to stay; real time data, personalized insight and wellness. Not to mention that kids today are more comfortable with technology than their parents. Though many critics have been quick to brand kids wearables as tracking devices, their potential is enormous. And it goes well beyond improved health in children and parental peace of mind. Kids wearables go well beyond merely monitoring heart rate and motion. They have the power to fundamentally shape a child’s relationship with health and wellbeing, and the ecosystem surrounding them. Here’s how.

Develop Healthy Adults

The proliferation of screen time has gone hand in hand with stasis. More screen time means less movement, which increases the risk of obesity. According to National Survey Statistics, close to 72% of kids in the US do not even get 20 minutes of rigorous activity per day. In children, the threat is far greater than weight gain alone. The real concern is developing unhealthy habits, set to accompany them through to adulthood. Child wearables playfully incentivize wellness, in a bid to develop long-term, sustainable healthy habits. And it’s more than just exercise. Kid wearables can incentivize drinking water, brushing teeth, sleeping well and healthy eating. Such early intervention is proven to be effective. The World Health Organization commissioned a study proving that health and wellbeing management in early and middle childhood can reduce occurrences of critical illnesses in adulthood.

Reduce Cost of Childcare

In a world of connected devices, a future where a kid’s wearable is connected to the parents, school, insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and brands is closer than we might think. In such a connected world, anyone involved in caring for a child has access to vital information about the child’s wellbeing. This means that the cost of childcare can reduce significantly, and parents have very real incentives to make adjustments to their child’s behavior. As any behavioral economist will tell you, incentives are a strong first step to lasting change. CEO of Good Parents, the makers of the kid wearable Kiddo, CJ Swamy says, “Children’s health metrics are at worse levels than they have ever been. We need to do something about this. We’re trying to use technology to better our children’s lives.” In the video below, Swamy explains the potential further.

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