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Kiddie wearables: a great way to spy on your sprogs?

Even more smart wearables for kids were shown off at CES 2015, but is it actually a good idea to strap a chunky piece of tech to your child’s arm, and are they really just another way for us to play NSA with our kids?

LG may just have kicked off a children’s smartwatch revolution with its Kizon wearable, which was launched last summer (remember summer? That’s that thing where it isn’t miserably bleak all day long and ginger people turn an amusing crimson colour).

The Kizon was billed as a watch for kids, which allows the wee tykes and their parents to call each other thanks to the built-in SIM card slot. Handy stuff in case of emergencies, and much better than just giving them a smartphone. After all, they won’t be able to take photos of you on the toilet, or charge £500 to your credit card for some crappy Pokemon rip-off app.

Of course, LG seems to have missed off a rather important feature for any watch: the Kizon won’t actually tell you the time. They also look a bit like colourful asbo chav bracelets.

Wearables for kids might seem a little extravagant, but they’re undoubtedly an effective way for paranoid parents to keep constant tabs on their offspring. Another upcoming kiddie wearable, the Umeox Kids Watch, doesn’t just allow anxious mums to call little Timmy and check he hasn’t fallen into a swamp or been kidnapped by terrorists since he left for school. It also has built-in GPS, so you can track your sprog on your home computer – handy if they really are bundled into the back of a van (or just cheekily skipping school to go chuck rocks at pigeons).

If only Liam Neeson had forced his daughter to rock one in Taken, it would’ve saved us all a lot of unnecessary pain.

Another piece of kid tech known as the Miiya takes a very different approach to child-friendly wearables. This colourful and surprisingly funky device is designed with exercise in mind, like many adult wristbands and wearables. Kids who indulge in plenty of physical activity throughout the day, rather than sitting on their backsides scarfing down Haribo, are rewarded with gold stars and a thumbs up from the cute animated cat thing.

Your wee bundles of joy are even given fun ‘missions’ to complete, which encourage them to keep active. Presumably stuff like ‘open mummy’s purse, take out all of her money and post it to Miiya HQ, quick as you can’.

Parents can of course track their sprogs’ activities through the Miiya app on their smartphones, once again giving them a means of spying on their kids’ activities at any convenient moment. Talk about nanny state. Soon our kids won’t be able to scratch their noses without their parents getting an alert.

To be honest, we quite like the idea of the Miiya watch, which has a positive purpose at its heart and sports a stylish, colourful finish. Of course, as with all wearables, you’ll likely have to remember to charge it every night, or it’ll be little more than a rather nice-looking paperweight that your kids strap to their arm.

What do you think of wearables for kids, and are we takingthe whole monitoring thing to extremes? Let us know in the comments below.


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