Chinese parents are early adopters when it comes to outfitting their kids with the latest tech apparel, and Xiaomi is capitalizing on the market with a smartwatch designed specifically for children.
The Mi Bunny allows parents to set up a ‘safe zone’, issuing an alert when children wander too far. It is also enabled with location sharing capabilities, complete with Wi-Fi and GPS. The band has its own pre-installed SIM, allowing children to make and receive calls on the device. The smart device weighs 37g, and like all Xiaomi products, comes with a budget price tag at 299 RMB (US$46).
While the device is by no means revolutionary, a low price point will likely boost the band into the homes of concerned parents. The 99 RMB ($15.30 USD) Mi Band, Xiaomi’s debut wearable fitness band, recorded 18.5 million shipments as of March this year, despite having a relatively low range of functions compared to their competitors.
In recent years, appetite for connected devices in China has given rise to a slew of smart wearables including several aimed at kids. Qihoo 360, Sogou, Huawei, LeEco and smartphone maker Better Life have all dipping their toes into the emerging area.
The tracking technology in the device is not a new concept in Asia. There are several startups working to market tracking devices for children, pets and even elderly family members. South Korea’s FAMY, Shanghai-based EasyPal and Singapore’s Watch Over Me have all found traction amid China’s booming appetite for cheap connected tracking devices. Shenzhen-based Lisa has gone one step further, releasing a watch that can track fetal movements, meaning China’s new tech savvy citizens can be monitored from the womb to the grave.
Mi Bunny will be part of Xiaomi’s Mijia smart IoT ecosystem brand, which already includes a series of smart devices like smart rice cookers, air purifiers, water purifiers, wristbands, and smart scales.