The next generation smartwatch for kids

The announcement of a smartwatch for kids is almost certain to be followed by cries of “Not another screen!” -- after all, moral panic about kids’ sedentary, solitary relationship with technology is at least as old as television. But Jumpy, a kids’ smartwatch from Joyray Tech, is designed to encourage real-world interaction and learning.

Jumpy consists of a 1.6-inch color LCD screen that pops into colorful, interchangeable rubber wristbands. The waterproof unit includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and speaker, plus a couple of physical buttons. The internal battery is charged with a magnetic connector. Jumpy is powered by the Android OS and connects over Bluetooth.

Built-in apps include basic, kid-friendly smartwatch functions like a clock and a digital assistant, which takes the form of an on-screen puppy who delivers messages and reminders set by parents. The messaging app lets kids send emoticons, drawings or walkie-talkie messages to other Jumpy users, or to their parents’ mobile devices. That makes Jumpy an easy way for families to interact and stay connected.

Kids Bluetooth Smartwatch: Jumpy

Other apps pair Jumpy with Bluetooth devices. A nifty example is an anatomy app that runs simultaneously on Jumpy and a parent’s tablet. Removing the Jumpy core unit and placing on the tablet’s screen turns it into an x-ray machine that reveals the hidden layers of on-screen objects, which kids and parents can explore together.

Many apps encourage physical activity through gesture recognition. TinyBand turns Jumpy into one of several musical instruments, which kids play by moving their arms in an air-guitar or drumming motion. Others pair Jumpy with connected toys like Sphero that respond to motion gestures.

Jumpy tracks activity levels throughout the day, and parents can view the data on their own mobile devices to make sure this extra tech gets the children off the couch. In addition, Bluetooth tethering establishes a safety perimeter, so parents get an alert if the kid wanders out of range. Joyray says future versions will also include GPS data.

Jumpy’s Kickstarter wraps on December 17, and Joyray hopes to ship by March 2015. Take a look at the video below to learn more.

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