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Jumpy: 5 Things Kid-Centric Smartwatches Teach us about Wearable Tech

Although it failed to reach its $100K goal on Kickstarter, Jumpy – the smartwatch designed especially for kids – is still in the pipeline for Taipai-based startup JoyRay.  And with Jumpy’s design comes a new set of capabilities for smartwatches; and they’re not just child’s play.

Jumpy isn’t the first of its kind: Leapfrog released a similar product, designed to help children be more active throughout the day, thanks to preloaded games and reminders that get kids moving. The trend toward getting the whole family involved and using smartwatches isn’t only teaching a valuable lesson in marketing, but also in how wearable tech can be harnessed for more than just checking text messages. Here are five things that Jumpy (and other kids wearable tech) can teach us.

  1. Wearable tech can be used for augmented reality.

The idea of virtual reality isn’t as complicated as one might think. Wearable tech can allow for everything from games to simulated environments, all in the palm (or wrist) of the wearer’s hand. Whether it’s running a race in the kids’ Olympics or nailing a sales meeting, wearable tech makes augmented reality accessible.

  1. Interactivity is the name of the game.

One thing that kids’ wearable tech gets right? The sheer interactivity of it all. Hey, toy and electronic makers know that when kids aren’t engaged, they’ll probably ditch the device. It’s a lesson in user motivation: By asking learners to tap, swipe, drag and otherwise engage, there’s better chance for repeat experiences.

  1. Multimedia knows best.

Songs, graphics and videos: You’ll find them installed in just about every kids’ wearable tech device. And why not? Multimedia has a proven track record for increasing user engagement and retention. By jazzing up the interface with a variety of multimedia components, kids stay glued and get more out of each app.

  1. Bluetooth is for more than just headsets.

Sure, you love your Bluetooth for hands-free phone operation, but Jumpy harnessed the technology for something else: The potential to play with a Bluetooth-connected ball to register time and technique on a smartwatch device. The idea that Bluetooth can be used for more than just hands-free conference calls opens an entire world of devices that can interact with smartwatches to expand their reach and ultimately, make the more effective and valuable to the user.

  1. Voice command is the next big thing.

Wondering where wearable tech is going to go next? It’s probably going to land squarely in the realm of voice command. Whether it’s asking a smartwatch what time a movie starts or a wondering how far it is to Jupiter, kids are understanding the value of being constantly connected to the latest information. Sound familiar to any goals your team might have?

Time will tell whether or not Jumpy will actually make it onto toy shelves (right now you can preorder one for $99), but it’s the technology you should really get excited about. While the applications may be geared to kids, the implications of innovation and design for such devices are all grown up.