After two years with the Fitbit Ace 2, the company, now owned by Google, has upgraded its activity and sleep tracker for kids with the new Fitbit Ace 3, which boasts several improvements over the Ace 2, including longer battery, interactive clock faces, and a similar kid-friendly design. There are also new accessories, including Minions bands, which are coming soon.
The Fitbit Ace 3 offers up to eight days of battery life, a swim-proof design up to 50 metres, and more animated clock faces so kids can personalize the look (though the animations will drain the battery more quickly). The animations, which now include a bunny, cat, martian, and spaceship, will change throughout the day as the child works toward reaching their goals ; and there are more than 20 different clock faces from which to choose.
Designed for kids aged 6 and up, promoting physical activity among kids is even more important than before considering that many are in virtual school, not playing after-school sports, and spending more time on mobile devices.
While some parents frown on the use of activity trackers for kids, there are a lot of benefits with them – it’s all in how you approach them, and broach offering your child the chance to wear one. For example, my 9-year-old has been wearing the Ace 2 for two years now and while he rarely focuses on his steps, he loves having a watch on his arm so he can see what time it is and set timers. It’s also useful for me, as his parent, to check his physical activity, including not only number of daily steps but also active minutes, and, most importantly, his sleep. What time did he actually fall asleep? Did he have restful sleep? And do his activity levels, or lack of activity, impact his sleep or vice versa. This is all useful information for a parent to help their child live a healthier lifestyle.
Like other activity trackers for kids, the device does not include heart rate monitoring nor data about caloric intake or calories burned. Rather, it helps motivate kids to get at least 60 daily active minutes per day and reminders to take at least 250 steps her hour. This can be customized during school time. Kids can set their own personalized goals and track activity and stats on the touchscreen, while parents can also keep track in a dedicated section for family setup in the Fitbit app. Like with the Ace 2, parents set up a kid view that shows their child’s stats each day.
The Ace 3 also features timers, stopwatch, sleep tracking, bedtime reminders, and silent alarms. Kids can also connect with friends and family members (approved by parents) for friendly face Off challenges and competitions and receive virtual badges and trophies for reaching milestones.
Available for pre-order, the Fitbit Ace 3 will officially be available starting March 15 and will sell in Canada for $99.95, with two options: black with a sport red clasp or cosmic blue with ana astro green clasp. New band options coming this summer include Minions-themed ones: a Despicable Blue and Mischief Black band will sell for US$29.95 ea.