Smartwatches are what kids are most attracted to amongst all other adult gizmos and gadgetry. It’s not easy to keep children away from the allure of wearing something that isn’t static and something that they can actually interact with. Wearables are always better alternatives to smartphones and tablets that often end up making us more and more introverted. A smartwatch or band is supposed to be nothing more than a learning tool and an assistant that encourages interpersonal skill and not deter real interaction with friends and family. This is precisely the ideology that has inspired Jerry Chang to found the tech startup called JoyRay in Taipei which specializes in designing imaginative wearable devices specially for children.
The Jumpy smartwatch is JoyRay’s first commercial product out to charm young minds. The design is absolutely delighting that could get even some adults a little envious. The device aims to be the perfect solution for both engaging edutainment as well as child monitoring to help parents keep track of kids’ activities. Jumpy can interest kids in the age group of 5 to 8 and the wrist strap itself is designed to fit their arm sizes. However, I personally believe that this could make for a great accessory for pre-teens too, maybe with little tweaks in design. The team is taking special care to differentiate their product from some predecessors which as they observed, were often abandoned after a few days of play. Hence the emphasis was on securing continued interest in Jumpy. The key factor in making this versatility possible lies in JoyRay’s decision to make the smartwatch essentially an open-platform tool, both iOS and Android system compatible, inviting third-party app developers to build apps on Jumpy’s SDK. Developer David Liu is tasked with the job of cherry-picking the preloaded set of apps that the smartwatch will be made available with. The idea is to focus on apps that will encourage physical agility and playing together. Initially, children will be able to use about 10 apps and games along with other tools like exercise reminders, location trackers, activity monitor and a messaging box that can send voice messages. Also, there is a little dog character that ‘lives’ in their Jumpy device that will talk to them and keep them going.
Jumpy Smartwatch – Build and Basic Functionality
Jumpy has a 1.6 inches touchscreen that displays vivid colors and vibrant graphics. The dial piece is nice and chunky, just the way little ones like it. A lot of thought has palpably gone into the mold and texture aiming to hit the right chord between attractiveness and skin-friendly, safe build. The system is powered by a 350 mAH battery and a dual core CPU. Internal memory totals 4GB while RAM stands at 512 MB. The makers have done the right thing by choosing Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) for wireless connectivity, thanks to which; Jumpy can interact with other Jumpy watches enabling some exciting multi-player possibilities. It can connect with apps on other devices and control wireless signal pick up toys like the famed Sphero and Ollie from GoSphero. Conversely, you can also choose to connect to other devices and robotic toys over your home WiFi network.
To ensure augmented usability for fun games that need motion sensing, the gadget has been fitted with Gravity Sensor and Gyroscope and Voice Recognition. Also, the microphone and speakers are water resistant.
One other thing that can be exciting is the ability to detach the display piece from the strap so you can swap between colors. The dial alone can also be used separately for some synced in-app usage with say, your tablet.
Jumpy Smartwatch – Utility for Parents
The Jumpy app can give parents all-round monitoring tools and checklists to enable better monitoring and vigilance with reminders and alerts that bring to their device, timely notifications such as ‘Drink Water’ reminder alarm, Play Hour timer, Lunch time alert and can even sense idling. The Activity Tracker tool makes it possible to keep a check on how your kid is faring at her daily chores and planned learning schedule even when you are away. When you kid completes a task, she can easily key in the data into her Jumpy wristwatch which will promptly ping your smartphone, having appended the advancement to the charts and graphs generated on the app. And then there’s the ubiquitous location tracker that can help you locate your child by letting you know immediately once he moves out of proximity range and by tracking the co-ordinates of his whereabouts.
Jumpy is currently on a Kickstarter Crowd-funding campaign and has successfully raised 50% of its pledge goal. The company is optimistic of attaining the target by the December 18th deadline owing to the manufacturing partnership deal they have secured with Foxconn, leading Taiwanese contract electronics maker. Chang hopes to go for a stretch goal for a swanky charging adapter design that will be modeled after the body of a monkey or a dog and when Jumpy’s center piece is fitted into the charging dock, the screen would light up completing the face.