The LeapFrog LeapBand made its debut today in an attempt to get kids more active. Unlike typical fitness bands, the LeapBand skips heart rate monitoring and tracking data on spiffy-looking graphs. Instead, it aims to gamify healthy activity with kid-friendly a Tomagotchi-style virtual pet. By going through certain exercises framed as mini-games, kids keep their pet alive and healthy. Activity is tracked through an accelerometer, and progress towards unlocking new challenges and pets is displayed on a full-color screen. A companion game for iOS and Android called the Pentathalon will be released, allowing kids to play with the pets they've taken such good care of.
It's great to see so many fitness bands available for those adults that are health nuts, but creating exercise-conscious adults is an important challenge to tackle. Technology can often be seen as a mental pacifier for kids, but in a context like this, it could very well cultivate some very healthy habits. Plus, hey, games are fun. You may even have more of a hard time getting the kid to slow down for bedtime.
Or, you know, you could just say "go outside."
The LeapFrog LeapBand will be available in August for $39.99. How many of you guys would slap one of these on your kid?