Fitness trackers specifically for kids aren't anything new, but the Fitbit Ace is the first time we’ve seen the big name in activity bands take an interest in encouraging little ones to up their step count.
The Fitbit Ace is a new tracker that’s built specifically for children – you don’t want to buy this as an adult – and offers a similar experience to a normal Fitbit but doesn't include some features to protect your child.
The Ace comes with a more limited feature set, but the idea is by gamifying their activity, kids will want to get out and run about more rather than sitting at home on a tablet or watching TV.
Fitbit Ace release date and price
You’ll be able to pre-order the Fitbit Ace from all good retailers from today, but it won’t be on sale until some point in Q2 of this year.
The newly announced Fitbit Versa is set for an April release, so considering the company is ready to announce an April release we can expect the Ace won't land until May or June this year.
As for price, we know it’s set to cost £79.99 in the UK ($99, about AU$125) which is cheaper than almost all of the Fitbit range when it first launched and around the current selling price for a Fitbit Alta HR.
Design and display
It’s thin and small as it’s specifically designed for children eight and up. We don't know the exact dimensions yet, but as adults trying it on we weren't able to put round our wrists.
There are two color designs available with electric blue and power purple the only options, and Fitbit didn’t confirm if it planned to release any further colors in the future.
It’s water resistant too, so you don’t have to be worried about your children running around with it on in the rain or if they get it soaked when washing their hands.
The intention is your children will be able to wear this all day long and see their basic stats as well as the time. There’s a small vertical display on the front that shows basic things like the time and step count.
It'll also offer 10 different clock faces specifically designed for the Fitbit Versa so your child can customize the look of their fitness tracker.
There’s no GPS, heart rate tracker or top end tracking equipment in the Fitbit Ace. Instead it’s all about step count and the aim to encourage your children to move and get their active minutes up.
There’s a new part of the app called Fitbit Family where your whole household can use your respective trackers, link accounts and then compete in challenges to try and get ahead of each other.
The aim here is for your children (or perhaps even the parents) to see the result and start to get competitive in upping their step count.
If you win a challenge, you’ll then earn a badge for hitting your goal. The Ace will also remind your child to move too, which may be a bit annoying when you’re trying to encourage them to sit still and their wrist vibrates telling them to move.
There’s also sleep tracking here for monitoring duration as well as disturbances in the night, but the Fitbit Ace won’t be as capable at tracking sleep stats as the adult focused Fitbit products.
Further specs for the Fitbit Ace have yet to be revealed. Fitbit reckons the battery life should last up to five days from a single charge, which is about average for fitness trackers of this type and means you don't have to constantly wrestle it off your child’s wrist to charge it up.
Why get a fitness tracker for kids?
It’s an emerging trend to monitor your children’s activity levels to try and tackle rising obesity levels, but it’s clear Fitbit wants to make a product here that will tackle the problems without any negative consequences for the children who wear one.
The Ace has been made with a kid friendly view, so this won’t show your child stats that will scare them. Fitbit also confirmed the Ace is compliant with COPPA, which is one of the most important privacy laws when it comes to looking after children’s interests.