Jumpy Is An Open-Platform Smartwatch Simply For Youngsters
Smartwatches for youngsters maintain loads of attract and a minimum of one evaluation agency believes they may assist drive the smartwatch market to 373 million units shipped in 2020, up from 15 million this yr. Youngsters get a shiny new gadget, whereas anxious mother and father get location trackers and exercise screens to maintain tabs on their offspring. Youngsters’s smartwatches, nevertheless, endure from the identical drawback that different toys do: the very brief consideration spans of their goal market.
A Taipei-based mostly hardware startup referred to as JoyRay needs to create a smartwatch for teenagers that gained’t find yourself deserted just like the Velveteen Rabbit. Founder and CEO Jerry Chang, who was division head of Foxconn’s smartphone enterprise earlier than leaving final December, believes the important thing to making a youngsters’ smartwatch with enduring attraction is to offer an open SDK and launch new apps by JoyRay and third-get together builders each month. Referred to as Jumpy, JoyRay’s smartwatch is designed for teenagers aged 5 to eight and Android and iOS suitable. It has an open SDK, and a number of options software program builders can play with, together with a removable watch head, gyroscope, gesture and voice recognition, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Jumpy is presently on Kickstarter, the place it has raised about half of the $one hundred,000 it needs to succeed in by December 18. The smartwatch’s Kickstarter worth is $ninety nine and it’s scheduled to ship in March, a objective Chang is assured it may possibly attain as a result of Jumpy has a working prototype (which I noticed demoed at JoyRay’s workplace) and a producing partnership with Foxconn.
One of many causes I like Jumpy is as a result of its creators are keen to ensure youngsters use the smartwatch to work together with their mother and father and the world round them, as an alternative of simply observing its display. For instance, JoyRay is presently engaged on an app that may permit youngsters to regulate Sphero, a Bluetooth-related ball, by waving their palms round. The smartwatch shall be shipped with an exercise monitor app that contains a cartoon canine named Chubby who reminds youngsters to maneuver round and drink sufficient water.
Whereas at Foxconn, Chang, who has two younger youngsters, introduced house one of many unique gear manufacturing big’s smartwatch prototypes. His son was enthralled and needed to deliver it to high school to point out off to his classmates.
“I needed to inform him, sorry, that is only for adults, not youngsters, nevertheless it made me understand how a lot smartwatches resonate with youngsters,” says Chang.
JoyRay’s staff consists of co-founder and developer David Liu, who’s answerable for overseeing the apps Jumpy will come preloaded with, in addition to its future releases. Liu’s personal startup, LND Video games, created Shade Band, a nifty movement-sensor based mostly iOS app that teaches youngsters about shade and music principle. Colour Band was profiled by TechCrunch final yr and later featured by the App Retailer.
Jumpy encompasses a bigger display (1.6-inches sq.) than most of its rivals and the watch head can detach from its silicon band. This enables it for use as a controller in different video games or hooked up to different units. Within the works is an academic app for tablets that’s like an up to date model of Operation. The app includes a drawing of a human physique that reveals organs and bones when Jumpy’s watch head is handed over it like an X-ray.
Jumpy’s watch head may also be included into different units. As a stretch objective for its Kickstarter marketing campaign, JoyRay is presently engaged on a charger that’s formed like a robotic or canine. When inserted, Jumpy’s watch head turns into the toy’s face, giving youngsters yet one more method to work together with it.
Chang says he discovered from the comparatively restricted performance of competing merchandise like Leapband, an exercise monitor for youngsters.
“It’s purported to encourage them to be extra lively, however in the event you learn evaluations on Amazon and different websites, you see mother and father saying that whereas their youngsters have been actually excited at first, they have been bored by it inside a few weeks. So once we began creating Jumpy, we needed it to be open platform. We have now our personal workforce of app builders and are additionally partnering with third-get together builders to concentrate on instructional, train, and leisure apps.”
When Jumpy ships, it can include about eight to 10 apps, together with video games, an train reminder and monitor, a location tracker, and a messaging app that sends emojis or voice messages to smartphones and different Jumpys. Knowledge is uploaded via wifi to the cloud so mother and father can monitor their youngsters’ actions on an iPad app.
After that, JoyRay plans to launch new apps on a month-to-month foundation, together with gesture-based mostly video games, storytelling apps, and language-studying instruments. It additionally plans to combine Jumpy with related toys, like Sphero, which have open SDKs.
“As we speak to shoppers, we’ll hold including new features and video games. We consider that Jumpy has much more prospects past different youngsters’ smartwatches,” says Chang. Whereas Jumpy’s rivals already embrace Filip, Kidizoom, the aforementioned Leapband, in addition to a number of GPS and exercise trackers, Chang believes Jumpy’s open platform, bigger display, and removable watch head will permit it to face out in what is certain to be an more and more crowded market.
For extra details about Jumpy, take a look at its Kickstarter web page.