Ace is intended to motivate. Something that is difficult for that 60 year old with metabolic syndrome. But with kids, it might just be the right tool at the right time. After all, it's the activity tracker that you can grow up with. Further, the integration of data and analytics with parents and family may help establish a bit of a "techno-connection" that might foster healthy activity. A 5-day battery life, activity minutes, sleep and goals, celebratory messages, and complete parental control add up to an attractive option. As parents track and observe activity, the Fitbit app can help them develop a program of activity that uniquely suits their children. Parental consent is required to create an account for kids, approve connections and view activity and progress.
For me, however, there are a few key points that emerge that make the story richer than just a tracker launch.
Certainly, for too many kids today, activity is down and weight is up. It's a fundamental social and clinical issue that exists around the world and requires attention. And while diet plays a central role, activity is just as important. Steps and activity can evolve from drudgery (hard to believe, but true for today's kids) to today's fun, family activities that can become healthy lifestyles. And because Ace is a possession of the child, it offers a real sense of responsibility—for both task and lifestyle. It's these habits that may become long lasting and provide a lifetime template for activity and wellness. While this feature is tangential to the product, it may emerge as a very powerful resource both kids and parents.
And there's another business aspect that's very interesting here. An early start to the Fitbit platform is a smart marketing tactic that let's the Fitbit audience start young and grow into loyal, adult customers. And with Fitbit trading at one of their highest prices in 2018, it could be a sign of good things to come.
Some may call it "just another wearable" and others may call a "kid activity tracker" unnecessary or even intrusive. But Fitbit is stepping up its game with a smart and focused device that can offer real-world benefits for the entire family. And the $99 price point doesn't hurt either.
We live in the world of the quantified self. Data is one of the most powerful tools we have to understand and drive behavior. It's only a matter of time until comprehensive quantification—from birth to death— becomes an accepted practice in the management of wellness and disease. It's time for those real tech experts—our kids—to enjoy the benefit of what data can offer and help them grow into a healthy and active future.
A version of this article first appeared on Forbes.
John is the #1 global influencer in digital health and generally regarded as one of the top global strategic and creative thinkers in this important and expanding area. He is also one the most popular speakers around the globe presenting his vibrant and insightful perspective on the future of health innovation. His focus is on guiding companies, NGOs, and governments through the dynamics of exponential change in the health / tech marketplaces. He is also a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, pens HEALTH CRITICAL for Forbes--a top global blog on health & technology and THE DIGITAL SELF for Psychology Today—a leading blog focused on the digital transformation of humanity. He is also on the faculty of Exponential Medicine. John has an established reputation as a vocal advocate for strategic thinking and creativity. He has built his career on the “science of advertising,” a process where strategy and creativity work together for superior marketing. He has also been recognized for his ability to translate difficult medical and scientific concepts into material that can be more easily communicated to consumers, clinicians and scientists. Additionally, John has distinguished himself as a scientific thinker. Earlier in his career, John was a research associate at Harvard Medical School and has co-authored several papers with global thought-leaders in the field of cardiovascular physiology with a focus on acute myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.