Bloomberg, in a report on Tuesday, said that Fitbit is thinking about creating a wearable for children. This is a part of the company’s strategy to push into new hardware categories as Fitbit struggles with poor demand for its fitness products.
According to sources from Fitbit, the company has been discussing the project internally for some months now, however, it is still under wraps. According to one of the sources who requested not to be named since the subject was still to be kept quiet, the proposed children’s product would be focused on health.
This is a sector that Fitbit has been increasingly focusing on lately for all its new line of Fitbit products. While there are no details about which way the newer Fitbit products would be different from the current line of products, the children’s product could have a tracking location option as well as games to engage them in fitness. But this would depend on the current fitness trackers being sold by competition in the market.
The children’s wearable may even track sugar levels. Fitbit is going into a partnership with Dexcom Inc. to add the glucose monitoring company’s device data to the latest smartwatch by Fitbit.
According to techradar’s UK edition, Fitbit has been creating fitness trackers for the more than 10 years and has now also ventured into the smartwatch market. But the company has never focused on the children’s wearables market. Currently, Fitbit says you need to be over the age of 13 to be able to use a Fitbit fitness tracker. So, there is a huge market that Fitbit hasn’t yet explored, in which techradar feels Fitbit could really make a huge impact thanks to its iconic brand name.
In the last few years, products that help track children’s health have become hugely popular with parents the world over. The research company Gartner Inc. says that an estimated 30% of all smartwatches that will be shipped in 2021 will be products targeted at children between the ages of 3 and 13.
If Fitbit decides to enter the children’s wearables market, it is going to face stiff competition. Established companies like Xiaomi and Garmin Ltd. are already making wearables for children. Startups like Neebo have developed products that track a baby’s vital signs.
Fitbit’s CEO James Park has for years been trying to change direction for the company from being just a steps tracker to becoming a complete digital health business. In this attempt, the company has diversified its product line to include smart weighing bathroom scales, new health apps as well as a new smartwatch. These steps in diversification is also due to increasing market competition as Apple has started making top of the line smartwatches and China has at the same time started creating cheap smartwatches.
Park says that over time, the company will move beyond just the current hardware offerings into software that can focus on predicting possible health results for its users. To this end, Fitbit started the New Year by investing $6 million in a company called Sano, a startup that is developing a skin patch that monitors blood-sugar.
This may be a good move for Fitbit as more and more people are becoming concerned about exposing children to too much technology too early. In fact, two major Apple shareholders feel that the iPhone has created a public health crisis in terms of cell-phone addiction in children. Additionally, France also wants to ban smartphones in schools for children below a certain age. Despite these concerns, analysts still expect the children’s wearables market to grow in the next few years.