I’m never not going to feel a pang of sadness thinking about the fact that kids these days require activity trackers to move, but that’s just the world we live in. Garmin got into the market roughly this time last year with the Vivofit Jr., with the promise of getting kids off the couch and into the world, because Pokemon Go can’t do all the heavy lifting.
This time around, the company’s got a powerful ally in its battle against childhood obesity. Garmin has enlisted the intellectual property powerhouse of Disney to add some flare to the Vivofit Jr., for three distinct storylines designed to up engagement.There’s a Minnie Mouse band, a Star Wars edition with The Force Awakens favorite BB-8 and an Avengers version featuring Captain America.
Each works with a corresponding mobile app that sends kids out on adventures (read: gets them off their butts), with a goal of an hour’s worth of active time each day. The Minnie band asks kids to “plan a surprise birthday party for Mickey Mouse,” the Star Wars edition revolves around adventures on the planet Jakku, and the Avengers version tasks kids with saving New York City from Ultron, naturally.
I’m not going to lie, they look more fun than the fitness bands I’ve been testing lately. Sadly, I’m pretty sure they won’t fit my wrist, though they do come in two kid-friendly sizes.
Parents can monitor activity from the app and assign reminders for things like chores, homework and brushing their teeth. The trackers are water resistant for swimming and apparently get around a year’s worth of battery life. Vivofit Jr. runs $100 and additional bands run $30. They’re definitely not the most affordable kid-friendly fitness trackers, but they do appear to be one of the more engaging. Also Captain America.
It's still a bit of a bummer that this is what it takes to get kids moving, but hey, who can stay mad at Captain America?