Garmin smartwatch tracks kids’ activity

  • November 21, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Garmin has launched a smartwatch for kids that provides fitness and activity tracking and even lets parents assign chores and give rewards.

Called Bounce, it has LTE connectivity that lets parents communicate with and locate their children. For parents, guardians or family members who want to delay purchasing a smartphone for their children, Bounce provides a communication tool for kids who do not need a fully featured smartphone.

With a bright, colour touchscreen display and a durable, swim-friendly design, Bounce offers two-way text and voice messaging, as well as real-time location tracking to the Garmin Jr app on a parent or guardian compatible smartphone. Along with communications, Bounce offers fitness and activity tracking, and games, and even lets parents assign chores and give rewards.

“As one of the world’s leading smartwatch companies, we are thrilled to offer parents peace of mind with a smartwatch that allows them to stay in touch with their kids while also keeping an eye on their location,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president. “Not only will kids feel cool wearing it, but parents will feel comfortable introducing their children to digital communications in a fun and controlled way through texts, voice messaging and tracking right from their wrist.”

Using Bounce’s built-in GPS and LTE connectivity, parents can stay connected and know their kid’s location with location tracking on Bounce, all through the Garmin Jr app on the parents’ compatible smartphone. No need to switch phone service providers – the LTE subscription is managed directly through Garmin.

Parents can set defined areas and be notified when their kid leaves the set boundaries. Children can also use the check-in feature to share their current location, which sends a notification to the Garmin Jr app on the parents’ smartphones. In case kids forget, parents can refresh their child’s location in the app to see their current whereabouts.

In addition to location tracking, families can communicate with their kids through the app. Directly from their watch, kids can send text and voice messages to the app on a compatible smartphone or to other Bounce smartwatches, so long as both watches are approved to communicate with each other by their family administrators. They can also respond with customisable pre-set messages, voice messages, emojis or sound emojis to parent-approved contacts and in Garmin Jr family group messages.

During school days, parents can turn on school mode or do-not-disturb from the Garmin Jr app to limit distractions to help kids stay focused while they’re in the classroom.

If a child needs help, parents can have peace of mind knowing they and other contacts they approve in the app will be sent a message when their child activates the Assistance feature. This notification will include a LiveTrack location view of their child’s live location directly in the app.

With Bounce, parents can encourage an active lifestyle from a young age. Health metrics such as sleep, steps and active minutes, as well as fitness activities including walking, running, biking, pool swimming and more can be tracked and viewed in the app. Parents can also send notifications to remind their kids to complete chores and other responsibilities. These reminders can be set up to recur weekly or even daily. To help children better manage their time, Bounce puts a stopwatch, alarm and timer on their wrist to let them know when it’s time to do homework or when it’s time to get ready for football practice.

Gamification of health and habits lets kids unlock rewards for meeting their active goals and responsibilities, including fun and educational games and adventures. Adventures will let young explorers learn about different places around the globe through trivia games and new facts directly on the app on their parent’s smartphone. In addition to earning rewards, kids can also compete with their family and friends in individual and team challenges. When it’s not time to be active, children can test their minds with educational games such as puzzles and flash cards on their watch.

Bounce is available in three colours – Green Burst, Black Camo and Lilac Floral – and has up to two days of battery life. An active subscription plan and LTE connectivity is required to use connected features, including text and voice messaging, Assistance and LiveTrack.