Fitbit is reportedly developing a new 4G smartwatch that is solely aimed at children. The rumoured smartwatch is speculated to include “safety tracking features” along with video calling and voice calling options. Although the company has its Ace series of smartwatches for children, these models lack cellular connectivity for always-on tracking and communication. Moreover, the Fitbit Ace series is more oriented towards fitness and lacks safety tracking features such as GPS tracking. It was also reported that the 4G-enabled smartwatch for children will be launched later this year.
According to a report by Engadget citing a source close to the matter, Fitbit, in order to develop this smartwatch, acquired Hong Kong-based Doki Technologies that is known for its kid-friendly wearables. Doki Technologies’ smartwatches feature video and voice calling options as well as GPS tracking system. Notably, Doki smartwatches also come with proprietary “Doki SIM” that offers unlimited data in over 50 countries for $9.99 (roughly Rs. 760) per month. The report, however, added that it is unclear whether these features will be included to the rumoured Fitbit wearable for kids.
The report further added that both Fitbit and Doki Technologies did not comment on the development (neither the two companies denied the development). Although the Fitbit’s acquisition of Doki Technologies is not officially announced, as spotted by the publication on the Hong Kong Companies Registry, Doki’s director is now listed as “Andrew Paul Missan,” who is also Fitbit’s Executive Vice President. Notably, the Hong Kong-based company on their website has stated that they will shut operations from July 1.
If Fitbit is indeed working on a smartwatch as stated in the report, the development will give Fitbit an edge over its competitor, especially in kid’s wearable market. Last year, Fitbit launched the Ace 2 Fitness Tracker that came with fitness tracking features but had no safety-related options. Additionally, Ace 2 comes with sleep tracker, 5 days of battery life, and several kids mode.
The report also speculates that with the Fitbit-Doki Technologies deal, the American fitness wearable company will also be able to penetrate the Chinese kid’s wearable market, where the product is largely popular. The report further claimed that Google, which last year announced its plans to buy Fitbit, knew about the Fitbit-Doki development. Currently, the US Justice Department is reviewing plans by Alphabet-owned Google to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion (roughly Rs. 15,000 crores).
Meanwhile, last month, a report by 9to5Mac claimed that Apple is working on a Kids Mode in watchOS 7. The report stated that Apple with this Mode will allow parents to connect more than one Apple Watch to their iPhone. This will enable the parent to control activities on their children’s Apple Watch. Similarly, the company is looking at a “SchoolTime” feature in the upcoming watchOS that will allow parents to manage apps during school hours.