July 18, 2016
Having children is a notoriously exhausting experience. While the joy your little ones bring you is unmatched, the scheduling, the rescheduling, and the re-rescheduling is enough to make even the most level-headed parent crack from time to time. You’ve tried rewards, you’ve tried punishments, and you’ve even tried begging, but nothing seems to get these kids on the right schedule when it comes to going to school, getting ready for bed, or simply brushing their teeth. But just like adults, kids love to interact with technology. And now, there’s a wearable for your little one that will get their butts in gear.
Octopus by Joy is a smartwatch that helps your kids get on schedule with the click of your smartphone. It has pre-planned events, it has simple-to-read icons and, perhaps most importantly, it’s sturdy enough to endure all the activities your little one go through on a day-to-day basis.
The technology is simple. You set up your account on your smartphone after connecting to the watch via Bluetooth. After inputting your child’s schedule with simple icons, like a bowl of cereal for breakfast or a bed for sleep time, the little one will be alerted to their schedule with fun colors and sounds. When they complete a task, they click a button and you will be notified of the completion. It’s water resistant, it can store up to 600 icons, and it’s making life so much easier for parents.
“This product is life changing for my son,” said Justina, a mother of a 4-year-old, in the Kickstarter campaign. “I love the level of ownership and responsibility the Octopus enables a child to have over their routine. This keeps my son on track with his daily schedule, creates a level of predictability that allows him to better function at home and school, and improves self-sufficiency.”
The benefits of this tech for parents is undeniable. But the more I write about this technology, the more concerned I become for the children of the world. While the Internet of Things has made parental monitoring easier than ever, kids aren’t necessarily benefiting from constant supervision. Sure, fewer kids are getting lost but at what cost?
The Kickstarter campaign notes that this technology should be used for children ages 3-8. Should children that can’t even walk yet be forced to endure an alarm clock for every event in their life? Education systems have shown that the less structured children’s lives are, they better they succeed in the future. And while this tech might be helpful for parents, the long lasting effects on children still remain to be seen.
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