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Google's new Fitbit Ace LTE is yet another screen for your kids to get distracted by

A girl wearing the Fitbit Ace LTS

If you thought it was bad enough putting your child in front of a tablet or smartphone, wait until you hear that Google has just unveiled the Fitbit Ace LTE kids smartwatch. Apparently, this watch will transform exercise into play and safely allow kids to “lead more active, independent lives.”

If you’ve ever shopped online for a budget phone and read the reviews, you’ve probably seen a parent explaining how it’s a great device for their child – that’s because kids break stuff, and things have to get replaced. Unfortunately, the Fitbit Ace LTE isn’t cheap and cheerful at all; it will set you back $229.95 initially and then you need to buy the Fitbit Ace Pass on top, which costs another $9.99 per month or $119.99 per year.

Justifying the cost somewhat is the fact that the watch is water resistant up to 50 meters, has a battery that lasts 16 hours, and has a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen, which provides scratch resistance and protection from dust. There is also a free bumper in the box for added protection. Google didn’t say how well the watch holds out against rough-and-tumble play outside, however.

To make exercise more fun, Google has loaded a bunch of characters called Eejies onto this watch. They are customisable and feed off your daily activity, and they get healthier and happier when kids stay active. By completing daily activities and moving through the game, arcade tickets can be earned to customise the Eejies.

With the emphasis on playing games on the watch, it means children could have one more drain on their attention. Another potential concern relates to privacy. While Fitbit emphasises data privacy, the watch will still track your child's location and collect data as part of its functionality. Given this, it’s probably a good idea that both parents and their children are clear about what the watch is doing.

Aside from an emphasis on getting moving, the Fitbit Ace LTE also allows for calling, messaging, and location sharing with parents. Google said location data is only shared with parents, and it’s deleted after 24 hours, while activity data is deleted after 35 days. There are no third-party apps to worry about and only contacts added by a parent can call or message the device, however, you’ll need to be careful your child doesn’t get using your account to add anyone else’s number so they can be contacted.

The watch is available for pre-order today and will start shipping from the Google Store and Amazon on June 5.

Source: Google

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