The Fitbit Ace is a fitness tracker geared specifically towards younger users (aged 8+) It joins rival fitness trackers such as the Garmin Vivofit Jr that are designed for kids.
Fitbit’s data says that child obesity has tripled since 1975 and that two out of three kids today are inactive each day. With child obesity such a huge problem, through the Ace Fitbit is looking to make being active more fun and to encourage children in the same way the company’s trackers aim to motivate grown-ups.
Fitbit Ace – Price and release date
The Fitbit Ace will be available in two colours, blue and purple, and will retail for £79.99. The Fitbit Ace will be released in Q2.
Fitbit Ace – Design and features
The design of the Ace is essentially identical to the Fitbit Alta (not the Alta HR, however; there’s no PurePulse heart rate monitor here).
Of course, the Ace has much smaller wrist straps to accommodate a child’s wrist, but otherwise the tracker component itself will be familiar to anyone who’s used an Alta.
Since the tracker for the Fitbit Alta was already small and sleek, there hasn’t been a need to adapt it for the Ace.
The two colours available are pretty unexciting, especially for a product designed to appeal to children. Garmin’s Vivofit Jr. is available in a range of bands with Disney, Marvel and Star Wars themes, which I feel instantly boost their appeal for that age range.
The Ace sports the same vertical OLED screen as the Alta, which is controlled with firm taps of the display to scroll through the different screens of information.
The tracking experience is very similar to the Alta, providing step counting during the day and sleep tracking overnight.
Fitbit says there’s a demand for a tracker for this age group since many children are already familiar with the Fitbit experience, having been exposed to such devices by their parents.
All of the data can be synced to the Fitbit app as standard, but there will be both ‘Child’ and ‘Parent’ accounts now, which will tailor the information delivered. There will be no calories burned information available via the child account, for example.
New badges and family challenges are designed to make being active more fun and rewarding across the family.
I can’t help but feel rather cynical about the Fitbit Ace. It feels like a cheap re-purposing of the Fitbit Alta and an attempt by Fitbit to expand its potential customer base. I don’t believe the Ace’s design is likely to appeal to children, either.
In addition, I have an issue with fitness trackers aimed at kids in general. Any child who’s struggling with their weight or body image may not want a flag on their wrist highlighting the fact that their parents think they need to be more active. After all, kids can be cruel and wearing a device such as the Fitbit Ace potentially puts you out there in a way some kids might not want.
When I asked Fitbit about my concerns, I was told that kids were saying Fitbit was ‘cool’ and were excited to wear the Fitbit Ace. Speaking as a child who was on the larger side, I’m not sure I’d have put my hand up to wearing such a device at that age.
Still, I’ll be interested to see how the Fitbit Ace is received when it’s released in Q2.