The Kids of the Wild jury remains out on technology for kids, even tech that gets them outdoors (like Pokemon Go, though we can see the benefit for those who would otherwise be on a screen indoors). Our philosophy is, if you’re outside you shouldn’t be on a screen.
Technology in the Outdoors?
However, an intriguing mix of tech and outdoors just might help some families get outside more and, if used cleverly by adults, could even help our national obesity problem by helping children lose weight without knowing it…
Caroline, who’s 8, has LOVED testing the ReimaGo activity sensor for the last few months.
It has real potential for families needing an extra push to get active, both indoors and outdoors. Plus it’s great fun!
What is ReimaGO?
It’s a kind of sci-fi-feel Fitbit for children with a cool app on an adult’s phone recording daily activity including round-the-world challenges and ‘prizes’ for achievement.
How Does ReimaGO Work?
- Download the app
- Connect the disc to a velcro-fastening wrist strap sensor worn by the child or alternatively, and doubly sci-fi, connect it to sensor pockets in certain items of Reima clothing (look out for our ski jacket and T-shirt reviews coming soon!)
- ReimaGO records the child’s activity for as long as they wear it; movement, duration, intensity plus number of steps taken and total distance each day
- At the end of the day, disconnect, shake the disc to connect to the app via Bluetooth and watch as the day’s activity uploads
Kids get to see what they’ve achieved in numbers as well as with a pictorial trail around the world through cities or jungles as the child (or adult) chooses.
There’s a parents area where targets and challenges can be set (daily, weekly etc).
It can be used for multiple family members – ours includes a section for the dog(!) – and survived a brief spin in the washing machine as it’s water resistant to 30m!
Encourage Fitness and Health
Caroline needs-no encouragement to be active, especially outdoors, but I can see real benefit for families with more sedentary kids needing to lose weight or get fitter.
The goals and challenges are fun and I imagine kids dashing round the block, connecting up to check their goal then running off again if they haven’t hit their target!
Caroline uses hers canoeing, hiking, running, walking, playing, climbing, paddling, tree-climbing, at Cubs, cycling, even at dancing!
ReimaGO records movement so we’ve noticed a tendency for car journeys to show as activity – must be our bumpy old banger – but could be used by astute wildlings to ‘cheat’ their targets!
I’m quite taken with the potential for ReimaGO as I look at ways of reaching families who don’t have outdoor time in their lives. I also know many outdoor kids who love computers enough to love this just for the sake of it! Definitely worth a try and a great, though not super-cheap, stocking filler.
- Encourages activity, fitness and health
- Reima clothing has sensor pockets!
- 16-24 cm wrist band for use with non-Reima clothing
- Multi-coloured wrist straps available (suitable for swimming)
- Water resistant to 30m
- Approx 6 month battery life
- Doesn’t interfere with/get in the way of activity
- App available in English, Russian and Chinese
- Wrist strap could get snagged on things (though ours hasn’t yet)
- Requires iPhone/iPad iOS 9 and Android 6.0. or newer
- Requires Bluetooth Smart
- Watch for non-activities being recorded eg car journeys
I’m interested to know your thoughts on outdoor technology for kids – please comment below to let me know.
NB Kids of the Wild received a ReimaGO Activity Sensor for the purposes of this review. All views and observations are my own (and Caroline’s, aged 8).