Watch out Apple Watch, 5 year old's are coming, with much bigger expectations!
As a collector of all things gadgetry, it will be no surprise to many that know me well - in my kids Christmas stocking was something either technical or that made a noise. Now, like most parents we are super super cautious with these - leaving fine long
standing friends to buy drum kits and never ending speaking teddy bears (thanks guys - you know who exactly who you are!).
This year though, along with a singing Elsa Doll for my daughter (every parent of a young girl I'm confident now knows the full lyrics to 'I want to build a Snowman' - it's even interrupted
my morning commute music and I've been caught singling along to it in the office) my Son received a Smart Watch. Yes, you read that correctly - a Smart Watch! He learnt to tell the time some years back, so he has the basics and likes to wear
a watch like daddy at weekends.
When my wife and I were chatting through presents for Christmas, and shared that it was circa £35 at the time - I honestly expected so little. I figured it would be a cheap, plastic thing that would fall apart by Boxing Day. (We have already had two things
not make it to the end of Christmas day!). We went for the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch.
But, wow, just WOW! For many who are holding off for the ultimate release of theApple Watch, then this thing is well worth looking at - not for any personal use (maybe?) or anything, but what amazed
me were a few things.
- He took it out of the box and was using it in seconds!
- The swipe motion and touch screen was something he is used to from the scarce moments on my iPad & iPhone - plus of course he sees adults doing this all the time
- In addition to the touch screen, it has a motion sensor
- The build quality is pretty impressive on this. For kids, these things need to be pretty indestructible - so far so good.
- It looks great in my view. I actually expect the Apple Watch to be a pretty similar size to this, perhaps a little bigger.
- For the price, it has some amazing features. It lists 8 different things in total including a: clock, timer, games, video camera, syncs with the PC - but under each of these you can customize it, e.g. it has 50 different clock faces.
- It's rechargeable with a decent battery life.
- He was running around, taking pictures and videos in the first 5 mins., with no instruction from us. It has a 640 x 480 camera and can store up to 800 photos or a whole host of 60 second videos with 320 x 240 pixels or 160 x 120 pixels at 15 frames per
second. The storage is 128mb!
- You can add fun frames and borders to the pictures.
- It comes in a multitude of colours - we went for white.
As Steve Jobs would say - 'it just works!'
Thank heavens it doesn't go online, but I can see how this would work for older kids too. But seriously, these are all features I would expect in a grownups smart watch, of course higher quality, deeper features etc. - but there is only so much you can and
would want to do.
So this has really made me think of the future, his future more importantly and the kids relationship with technology. If this is the sort of kit in the hands of 5 years old today, and it's this easy to use - what will the consumer of tomorrow expect from
Like us, it must be pretty daunting for most parents who want their kids to stay get the balance right between electronic stuff and the real world. After all he is still just a kid and whilst we still have control, we will still keep control - we still read
lots, play board games, dress up, run around outside, jump in puddles and so much more. It's genuinely been a while since a piece of gadgetry has surpassed my expectations - I never expected it to be my 5 year olds.
More annoyingly now, both he and my wife keep teasing me that he has a smart watch and I don't!