Fitness Kids/Babies Smartwatches/Bands

Kids hooked on Owl fitness system get wise to healthier habits

Childhood obesity is a problem that continues to grow in the United States: over the past 30 years alone, the rate of obese children and adolescents has more than doubled, which means that almost one-third of them are obese. One of the best ways to combat obesity is a healthy lifestyle that includes physical exercise, something most don’t get as more spend longer playing mobile games. OWL LLC wants to gamify the development of positive exercise habits and make them easier to engage with its Owl Fitness Tracker.

The Owl iOS app essentially replicates the nostalgia-laden experiencing of caring for a Tamogatchi or a Pokémon Pikachu with the Owl fitness tracker acting as a pedometer. The more a user walks, the more points can be earned to grow the Owl,  buy food to keep it happy, and accessorize it for fun.

Kids/Babies Safety Smartwatches/Bands

Linkoo shrinks down the size, price of the child locator watch

No matter how many precautions are taken, a parent’s worry for their child’s whereabouts isn’t something that is easily quelled — if at all. It’s ingrained deep in our wiring to be worried for our offspring. From getting lost to more serious concerns like predators, the only defense a parent really has are cell phones. For younger children, though, a smartphone comes with excessive maintenance costs even if it may contain everything a parent needs to feel better.

Inventor Lionnel Legros has created Linkoo to ease the worry of parents across the globe. Linkoo is a combination GPS tracker and cell phone for specifically for kids. The myriad of bright, fun color options appeals to kids while the integrated GSM appeals to parents, programmable with each parent’s number and one SOS number for emergencies. The child can make calls to these numbers or receive calls from anywhere around the world, and if the child doesn’t pick up a call, the watch will automatically call back ensuring the parent gets in contact no matter what. A Web portal and companion iOS/Android apps offer parents an additional layer of protection in the form of  maps with real-time tracking and geo-fencing capabilities. The Linkoo is going for $129 with an estimated delivery date of March 2015. Inventor Lionel Legros is looking for $50,000 in funding.

Capitalizing on a child’s excitement for their first watch is a smart move on the inventor’s part, even if it’s a little sneaky. But for parents, nothing is ever too sneaky to ensure their child’s safety. The excessive costs associated with maintaining a smartphone for a child are mitigated with a solution that keeps just the essentials, making it very child-friendly. There are tons of other GPS, childcare smart watches on the market like the 1Decision Bracelet that interacts with an accompanying bracelet worn by the parent, taking responsibility off of the child’s shoulders to signal for help. So the question remain: will a child actually wear it if they were to know what it actually does? The video paints an ideal picture, but is it a truthful one? We all know how finicky children can be, after all.

Health and Wellness Kids/Babies

Hipster baby carrier distributes weight better, won’t drink PBR

The Premise. Moms and dads can get tired from carrying their babies around all day. However, all of this lifting can become quite taxing. Many carriers are designed for the baby’s comfort, leaving little thought to its parents, which can lead to back problems and poor posture. 

The Product. Hipster is a baby carrier designed with both parent and child in mind. The weight of the baby sits on the hips instead of on the shoulders. The baby can sit in the front, back or on the parent’s hips, but the fastener keeps the spine straight to avoid injury. With versatile straps, the carrier can hold the child in a total of nine different ways. Using different attachable layers, the carrier can be made summer friendly with less padding and winter friendly with more. Additional pockets and compartments make it easy for parents to store whatever they may need while holding their child. Hipster comes in different colors and patterns with additional accessories like the head cover.

The Pitch. This Swiss product was created by a couple, Cecillia and Alessandro. As explained in their video, when Cecillia pinched a nerve in her back, she struggled to pick up her baby. Different carriers weren’t working for her unique back problems. Thus, the idea for Hipster was born. The rest of the campaign goes through reward tiers, specs and shows Alessandro using Hipster in its 9 different ways. Hipster is looking to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter. 

The Perks. For only $100, backers can receive the Hipster at an early-bird price with estimated delivery set for August 2014. The regular price of $120 offers delivery in September 2014. Tiers offer a variety of accessories and colors and go up all the way up to $1,000.

The Potential. People are really beginning to get wise to the fact that poor posture can be extremely detrimental. Many hiking packs load weight onto the lower back and hips in order to give shoulders a rest. Hipster uses the same idea for kids. Another low-fastening baby carrier, the Side Ride Hip Carrier, uses the same idea to hold kids on the hips, buthas only two options for carrying instead of nine. The baby carrier’s versatility and posture control make it a sensible and desirable contender on the new parent market.

Automotive Kids/Babies Safety

Babeep braces brains to remember backseat babies

The Premise. As summer approaches, there are dangers that we must deal with that are related to heat. Cars heat up extremely quickly when left out in the sun. Many parents absentmindedly leave their children behind in hot cars, resulting in dangerous conditions for the child. 

The Product. Babeep is an alert device that reminds parents, guardians and babysitters to check their cars before locking up and walking away. This Israeli product plugs directly into the car’s outlet and even has a USB port on the side for charging phones. When the car starts, the Babeep flashes green. When the car is turned off, it flashes red and plays a prerecorded baby sound to remind the driver that a baby is onboard. 

The Pitch. Babeep’s campaign is riddled with terrifying facts of child neglect and death rates. It even features a news story of one such incident. The campaign video shows a dramatization of this occurrence that makes the vignettea little bit more horror than informational. Still, the campaign does a great job in creating a sense of urgency for this product in parents and guardians. Babeep is looking to raise a huge $300,000 in its month and a half long Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. Early backers will receive the Babeep for $35 or $38 at a regular price. Higher tiers offer multi packages for families with several cars. The highest tier at $15,000 promises to donate 500 Babeeps to new moms in hospitals across the country. Lower tiers have an estimated delivery date of March 2015. 

The Potential. As the campaign explains, there are several ways that parents have tried to battle the leaving-the-kid-in-the-car problem, but none are effective when the driver is distracted. Some are simply tags that the parent is supposed to remember to use, like the Baby Bee Safe, but how is a parent going to remember a piece of plastic if they can’t remember their own kid? Others are more high tech like the ChildMinder which senses if a child is in the back and then beeps if the child separated by the parent by more than 15 feet. The Babeep seems to be the simplest, most effective of these options. It requires little action and works automatically which is perfect for the kind of parent or guardian who might accidentally leave their child behind. 

Kids/Babies Toys

Bear on the Chair wears its emotions on its chest, reflects kids’ behavior

The Premise. Disciplining children is the one part of parenthood that isn’t so great. Most kids don’t respond to their parents simply because they are their parents. Outside sources sometimes have better luck showing children the difference between right and wrong.

The Product. Taking a naming cue from such sitting toys as The Elf on the Shelf and the crowdfunded Mensch on a BenchBear on the Chair is a behavioral modification tool for children. This cuddly toy sits on a white chair and hangs out with your child. If your child’s behavior is good, you can attach the yellow happy face to the bear’s shirt. However, if bad behavior ensues, simply attach the red sad face. Your child will take responsibility for the bear’s mood like a friend and will change their behavior to do so. The bear was designed to be super cute and cuddly as well as gender neutral making it great for girls and boys alike.

The Pitch. Bear on the Chair starts with a longer video of dramatizations of a bratty girl refusing to do what her father asks. It lacks a moment where the girl actually responds to the bear’s sad face, but you get the idea either way. The remainder of the campaign talks about the bear’s friends: Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny, and about how each bear comes with its own adoption certificate upon naming it. The Bear on the Chair needs some money for its honey —  $10,000 in a 45-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Backers can receive this cuddly bear for $55 with an estimated delivery date of July 2014. Reward tiers go all the way up to $1,000 for backers who really really love teddy bears.

 The Potential. Bear on the Chair is aimed at bettering a child’s behavior, though seems a little bit manipulative in the way it works. Also, if this bear and child are so close, wouldn’t the child notice that the happy/sad faces are removable? The campaign would benefit from testimonials of parents who can vouch for the Bear’s success. Still, Bear on the Chair presents a unique opportunity for parents to teach children how their naughty actions can influence others. Any toy that has the potential to make a child a little less naughty, even if a little expensive, is certainly welcome on the market for frustrated parents.