The smartwatch industry is booming with big players like Apple and Samsung jumping into the fray along with old timers like Huawei. According to an analysis firm, there is a new market that is emerging from within this niche industry. Allow me to introduce you to smartwatches for kids, a market that many believe will help drive the smartwatch industry to 373 million devices shipped in 2020, up from 15 million this year.
Taipei based startup “JoyRay” is creating a smartwatch for kids that hopefully won’t end up abandoned like the Velveteen Rabbbit. Founder and CEO of JoyRay, Jerry Chang believes the key to creating a kids’ smartwatch with enduring appeal is to provide an open SDK and release new apps by JoyRay and third party developers. JoyRay’s smartwatch, “Jumpy” is designed for kids aged five to eight and is compatible with Android and iOS. It has a host of features like gesture and voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity. The watch head is detachable.
Jumpy’s kickstarter price is $99 and it is scheduled to ship in March. It features a 1.6 inches screen, which is larger than most of its competitors and the detachable watch head can be used as a controller in other games or attached to other devices. JoyRay is currently working on a charger that is shaped like a robot or a dog. When inserted, Jumpy’s watch head becomes the toy’s face, giving kids yet another way to interact with it.
When Jumpy is made available to public, it will come with about eight to ten apps, which will include games, an exercise reminder and monitor, a location tracker and a messaging app that sends emojis and voice messages to smartphones and other Jumpys. Data is uploaded through WiFi to the cloud so parents can also moniter their kids’ activities through an app. After that, JoyRay will release apps on a monthly basis and there are plans to integrate Jumpy with connected toys like Sphero, that have open SDKs.
Jumpy already has competitors including Filip, Kidizoom, Leapband, as well as a host of GPS and activity trackers, Chang believes Jumpy’s open platform, larger screen, and detachable watch head will allow it to stand out in what is sure to be an increasingly crowded market. It’s not only the kids who are benefitting from Jumpy, the parents also get a device that tracks their kids’ location and keeps a tab on their activities.
For more information about Jumpy, check out its Kickstarter page.