Surprisingly enough, there are just a few smartwatches that are made specifically for kids. This is despite the fact that some researches show that parents would rather have a wearable than a smartphone for their children. If new reports are true, it seems that Fitbit is getting into this specific market as they have reportedly acquired Hong Kong startup Doki Technologies. This will supposedly pave the way for the release of a 4G smartwatch for kids which will be their first in that category.
While there’s no official statement yet either from Fitbit or Doki, Engadget noted that the Hong Kong Companies Registry now lists Andrew Paul Missan as the director for Doki. Missan is actually Fitbit’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, so that fact is obviously telling us something. The listing shows that Missan assumed the position last October 2019 so that’s before Google acquired Fitbit last November. Doki also previously announced earlier this month that it’s disconnecting its devices by July 1.
These developments are reportedly an indication that Fitbit is developing a 4G smartwatch for kids and they need Doki’s self-built platform for this. Features include safety tracking features and video calling and voice calling through an app. Fitbit currently has two generations of its Ace fitness trackers for kids but it’s missing an important component: cellular connectivity. This means you couldn’t have always-on tracking and also communication.
One of Doki’s last devices was DokiPal which had a physical Doki Sim and unlimited data in over 50 countries. Now that they will be disconnecting that as well as dokiWatch and dokiWatch S by July 1, we will probably expect an announcement from the company soon as to how it will fit into the Fitbit scheme or how Fitbit will fit into theirs. Hopefully, it will also include a teaser on this possible 4G smartwatch that will be created specifically for children.
An IDC report earlier this year indicated that 55% of respondents in the Asia Pacific region said that a sub-$100 connected smartwatch for kids would be good for their child’s safety while 22% said this was better than their kids carrying a smartphone. There were 15 million smartwatches for kids shipped last year and 97% of those were to Mainland China, with BBK (Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, RealMe) being the top vendor. Let’s see if Fitbit will be able to penetrate this market.