Fitness trackers for your whole family. Yes, even your kids.
Fitbit never made a fitness tracker for kids before, but it has now. The Fitbit Ace is specifically designed for kids 8 and up, according to the company: It's designed to motivate kids, and also be something that families can use to keep active together. It was announced alongside Fitbit's new lower-priced smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa.
I have two kids, and they both run around a lot and get super sweaty. According to Fitbit's research, however, kids after age 8 tend to become more sedentary. The Ace is basically a repurposed Fitbit Alta (a slim-design general-purpose fitness tracker released in 2016) with new software and goal targets aimed at World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control recommendations on active daily exercise and sleep.
The Fitbit Ace will aim to keep kids moving for 60 active minutes a day, and focus on getting nine to 12 hours of sleep. Those are both higher goals than the adult recommendations (thank goodness).
Much like the older Fitbit Alta, the Fitbit Ace can track steps, sleep and general exercise. It has a button-free tappable display that doubles as a clock, and will have up to 10 watch faces to pick from. It won't track heart rate, and it can't be worn while swimming (it's "splash-resistant" for sweat and showers).
A new Fitbit Family account will let parents add trackers for their kids through their own phones , or the Ace can pair with a kid's phone, too. New modes include specific badges and a five-day challenge mode that lets the family compete against each other. Parents will control the kid's privacy and connection to other Fitbit friends and groups.
If the Ace is connected to a kid's phone, it will also be able to ping notifications for incoming calls and texts.
The Fitbit Ace lasts five days on a charge, and comes in bright blue and purple band options. Unlike Garmin's Vivoactive Junior fitness tracker, there aren't any themed Disney band options. It costs $99.95 in the US, and will be sold internationally, e.g. for £79.99 in the UK and AU$129.95 in Australia.
Do I want my kids to have fitness trackers? I'd prefer if they didn't. In fact, I'd rather my kids have as little tech as possible. But as my 9-year-old gets older, he'll start making his own decisions more and more. I'm curious how he'd use a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Ace. When it's available in Q2 of this year, I'll have to try a review with him.