Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
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Fitbit announces Versa smartwatch and Ace activity tracker for kids

Fitbit announces Versa smartwatch and Ace activity tracker for kids

"We've been panning our entry into smartwatches for a while", Fitbit CEO James Park told Mashable.

We think it's a big improvement over the angular Ionic smartwatch, released past year.

We knew it was coming, and now it's official: Fitbit has announced the Versa, its "mass appeal" smartwatch, which is aimed at, well, everyone.

Fitbit, the popular company known for its fitness tracker devices, has announced they are releasing a Fitbit for kids device to help children to stay active while having fun at the same time.

Fitbit says that the Versa is the "lightest metal smartwatch in the United States market", which makes the claimed 4 days of battery life pretty impressive.

Also today, Fitbit introduced its new Ace fitness tracker for kids. Last year, a United Kingdom high school banned fitness trackers and devices that access social media platforms due to worries about negative effects on young people, according to the BBC. The new wearable looks similar to Apple's watch, and offers music playback and other capabilities. Fitbit believes having this information at your fingertips can empower women with knowledge, help them communicate more effectively with their doctors, and benefit (specifically runners) from cycle predictions and symptom tracking when planning out their training schedules. It has an anodized, ultra-thin aluminum body which is tapered and angled so that it can fit comfortably on both small and big wrists. "The Versa has a 1.34" display covered with Gorilla Glass 3 with a brightness of up to 1000 nits.

That said, because Apple has a closed ecosystem, notifications and quick replies-an important feature for most smartwatch users-are only available for Android. It also limits what children see in the app, including stats like calories burned, friend requests, and Fitbit's social community. Accessories, including leather and stainless steel straps, will range in price from $29.95 to $99.95. It's made from anodized aluminum, and comes in black, rose gold and charcoal - aka gray.

The Fitbit Versa is up for pre-order right now, is priced at $199.95, and ships in April. To be precise, the Fitbit Verse is a redesigned version of the Ionic that comparatively costs less than the $300 price mark. Fitbit says the tracker is designed for children eight years old and up.

According to TechCrunch, the Fitbit Ace retains certain functions of the company's existing trackers, such as step counting and move reminders, and the device is water resistant and offers up to five days battery life. The bands, available in blue and purple for now, are interchangeable, so kids can customize them a bit. Launching alongside the Ace is a new Fitbit family account that allows parents to keep an eye on activity, and control what apps are connected to the device.

The firm explained the thinking behind the Fitbit Ace, designed for children, by citing World Health Organization data pointing to America's childhood obesity epidemic.

With Android Wear stagnating to say the least it is good to see Fitbit offering up some decent smart wearables.

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