Home Tech Google and Fitbit created a smart watch for children

Google and Fitbit created a smart watch for children

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4 watches with digital screens and different colored straps

For parents, the safety of their children is paramount, which is why Google says it has taken extra precautions with the Fitbit Ace LTE. Instead of trying to protect data, Google adopted a data minimization policy. Unlike Fitbits for adults, Google won’t take health data to improve products or conduct research; it will just delete everything. Location history will be deleted after 24 hours and health data will be deleted after 30 days. There are no third party apps and no ads allowed.

Does your child need a device?

When I told my kids about the new watches they were going to try, my 9-year-old frowned and said, “It sounds… distracting.” (Yes, she is the daughter of a gadget reviewer.) This device launches into an atmosphere of deep ambivalence about the effects of smart devices on our children. Children are receiving phones at increasingly younger ages. According to Common Sense Media, around half of the children in the United States they already have a smartphone at the age of 11; My kids are already starting to trust mine to log into their school’s proprietary suite of apps.

At the same time, recognizing the dark effects of social media on adolescent mental health, our city schools in Portland, Oregon, have started banning phones and smart watches from schools altogether. Organizations like Wait until the 8th Ask parents to sign pledges not to give their children a smartphone until eighth grade. My husband and I don’t plan on giving our kids smartphones until they turn 14.

I am very satisfied with the Apple family setup and the limited functionality of my children’s Apple watches. The only problem is that my kids are not motivated to keep them charged and use them frequently and often don’t use them when they need them.

He Fitbit Ace LTE could change that, motivating them to keep it charged and on their wrists, even if the idea of ​​a 24/7 portable gaming device makes me a little nervous. I also don’t want to keep buying bands every six months; my bank account and I already have enough problems managing its animal crossing and Squishmallow habits.

Courtesy of Fitbit and Google

“All we have to do is create a great product and schools will respond accordingly,” says Anil Sabharwal, vice president of product management for health and wearables at Google. “We are working with school boards to talk about what mechanisms we can install so that the clocks can be used in schools. But still, there is plenty of time before school when parents want to make sure their children get to school safely. The children have activities after school. “We see a tremendous amount of value there.”

The solutions are imperfect, but at least they are there. Giving my kids smartwatches can sometimes be a distraction, but it also allows them to move more freely around their neighborhood, exercise, and socialize in person with their friends. If a device can help achieve those goals, I’m all for it. And maybe walking more will help improve your sense of direction, even just a little.

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