Children love electronics and they want whatever they can get their hands on. So the idea of youngsters (i.e., 3 years old and up) wearing a watch doesn’t seem a far stretch. The problem is that a “smartwatch” is too involved, so how about minimizing what a watch for a child can and should be, and making controlling it completely a parent’s responsibility? Which is what the Octopus Watch is all about — think of it as training wheels for children being propelled into the digital/mobile world that is so prevalent today.
First let’s deal with what the watch looks like. It’s got a similar shape to a certain fruit-like company’s watch. Water resistant, the band is hypoallergenic, fitting wrists with a circumference ranging from 4 1/3 to 6 1/3”. The internal rechargeable battery gets its power from a USB cable that attaches via a magnet to hold in position. That battery, by the way, doesn’t have to push so hard to drive the electronics, seeing as how the watch face isn’t a touch panel. But it does do color (over 200 colors) and lasts for about 3 days use at a clip.
Those electronics powering the watch makes it possible for the child to tell the time. Plus adding Bluetooth so as to enable parents to run an app (iOS/Android) that add the ability to display icons by setting alerts which then appear on the watch. These icons relate to such things as noting that it’s time for breakfast, time to brush their teeth, get ready for soccer, etc — it becomes a fun and digital way of informing the child as to things that otherwise would have to be delivered from “on high” and which often are seen as being told what to do. But the magic allure of the digital/mobile world, as embodied by the watch the child is now wearing helps to obviate any resentment.
The interface provides 3 modes: analog, digital and icons. So, for example, the child will see the time being noted at the top of the watch, while any icon resulting from an alert appears below. As the watch face is not tiny, that icon can be large too. Alerts get translated into a vibration that the child feels and which is less likely to cause consternation as would be the case with an audible alarm.
An important thing to note is that the parent can be comfortable with their child wearing this, as it has no communication capabilities outside of Bluetooth — so no visuals are transmitted and the child can’t initiate any service, make a phone call, go online, etc.
The Octopus Watch helps to teach responsibility by hiding it in a fun manner — the child’s own “smartwatch!” And with 5 colors to choose from (pink, yellow, blue, black, red), the child can pick the color they want. And the parent will also be happy because the retail price is just $79.99.