There are a few kid smartwatches available on the market, but the majority of them are consumed with allowing parents to track and call their children when they need to get ahold of them -- such as the DokiWatch and Alcatel OneTouch CareTime kid smartwatch. A new smartwatch wants to go beyond simply tracking your children: it wants to make your child(ren) responsible.
Meet the Octopus smartwatch, a kid smartwatch that reminds your children about simple chores and tasks they need to perform each day (though the name may be odd and scary to them). For example, there's a notification that tells your children to eat breakfast, brush their teeth, grab their lunchbox for school, take a bath, and even play games with the family. It's a new way for parents to help their children stay productive without parents having to remember everything they need to do by sheer memory. Of course, parents must have a reliable memory when entering activities on the watch (so that children can be notified of the necessary tasks each day), but the Octopus smartwatch is being touted as a kid-productive smartwatch (designed to increase the productivity of children and teach them routine in a whole new way).
The Octopus smartwatch connects with parental smartphones and lets the smartphone of both parents connect to the smartwatch (and vice versa), so that you're alerted via Bluetooth when your child completes a task. This way, you can know that your child is completing his or her daily tasks on their own. In addition, it helps children think of themselves as "small persons," with a routine and tasks just like their parents. It also allows children to do some things on their own and have some small independence that will help them become productive as they grow older. The Octopus is an icon-based smartwatch, so that your children can be as young as 3 years old and know what message the smartwatch is sending them.
It is an interesting idea to believe that children will be motivated to do certain mundane things (like take a bath) because of a smartwatch, and every child is different. My 3-year-old niece is the type that takes her own bath and goes upstairs to bed when she gets ready (she doesn't have to be told when to go to bed), but not all children have this innate discipline that can be nurtured by a smartwatch. Of course, the goal for the Octopus smartwatch is kid-oriented, but it's also designed to help parents by having some sort of an "electronic overseer" for children who can keep them in line so that parent schedules become easier to handle and manage. It's an excellent idea, and we're sure that some children will adapt and love the Octopus smartwatch, but parents, don't be surprised or alarmed if it doesn't work for your child. And, it may take your child until a later age to figure out that the routine is for them and that they want to do it.
We do applaud JOY, the company behind the Octopus smartwatch, for designing something that is goal-oriented to help children learn the routinish nature of life, but we want to caution interested parents about its "magical" powers. Not every child will embrace it, but, if your child does, then JOY will have one more thing to be JOYful about.
The Octopus smartwatch is currently on Kickstarter, selling for $59 for early backers, and will mandate downloading the Android or iOS app when it arrives at your doorstep in March 2017. You can see JOY's Octopus smartwatch promo video below.
Could you see your child keeping a consistent routine with the Octopus smartwatch?