GeoPalz has introduced two affordable activity trackers, one aimed at parents and the other for their children.
The iBitz Unity is aimed at adults and it tracks steps, distance and calories, while the iBitz PowerKey is a pedometer specifically aimed at encouraging children to be active.
Both are water-resistant and have a clip which enables them to be attached to a belt or shoe, and both link to iBitz apps running on iOS devices.
The children’s app, iBitz by GeoPalz: Kids includes a virtual pet - the more exercise the child does, the more energy, food and water they get to keep their pet alive. Parents can choose to set goals for their children, so by taking more steps they earn points towards prizes from Amazon and unlock games from the iTunes Store.
The iOS app works with iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and with privacy in mind, GeoPalz is keen to stress that the kids’ tracker doesn’t capture weight or age data.
Parents use the separate iBitz Unity app, which looks more like a traditional tracker app showing charts, steps tracked and goals attained. Parents can also keep an eye on their youngsters’ own progress through the app.
According to GeoPalz’s CEO Rich Schmelzer, kids spend 7.5 hours a day playing games, watching TV and browsing the internet on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and games consoles. He wants to shake them out of this sedentary routine by making exercise as engaging as a video game.
“We wanted to create a product that would encourage families to lead more active lifestyles and get kids moving again.
“Children love gaming and with iBitz we are able to combine their favourite activity with physical activity, giving reassurance to parents and making going outside fun again.”
Connecting via Bluetooth, the trackers work with two free iOS apps. Android apps are expected to launch in 2014.
Both devices are powered by a single CR2032 battery, which lasts three to four months.
Fitness trackers are typically fairly expensive, but the iBitz Unity and iBitz PowerKey cost £39.99 and £29.99 respectively. Both come in a range of colours and are available from John Lewis, Amazon and Tesco.