Tuesday, 22 September 2020 23:47

VIDEOS: Little Tikes launches Tobi Robot Smartwatch for kids too young for a phone or phone smartwatch

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Designed for kids 4 years of age and up, the Tobi Robot Smartwatch is self contained, needing no phone app, but has a cool interactive robot, fun games with augmented reality, fitness features, two cameras and more - plus it tells the time!

It's 2020, and we've never been more technologically connected or advanced. While the kids who grew up with Dick Tracy would be in awe of how advanced even watches for 4+ year old kids are today, and while the kids of 100 years hence will marvel at how primitive today's technologies are from their point of view, 2020 is a great place to be.

Of course, that's ignoring the whole COVID conundrum, and 2020 is also a great place to be because we're here and can't time travel into any other time stream, but hey, given the world wars, dark ages and far deadlier pandemics and plagues the world has endured, we really don't have much to complain about and truly have much to be thankful for.

Now, there will still be parents that absolutely don't want their kids to be exposed to too much technology, or Wi-Fi waves, or whatever may be cooking in the brains of those parents with tin-foil hats on, but for the rest of us, we live in a golden age of technology.

And that means awesomely advanced tech even for tiny tots like the Tobi Robot Smartwatch, a "wearable tech accessory with all the interactive features of a full-functioning smartwatch and a playful robot who’s bursting with personality and fun," and at $70 each in blue or pink, it's at a price that anyone can afford.

So, with my whimsical flights of fancy into a tech laden future and humanity's dark past behind us, what in heaven's name can the Tobi Robot Smartwatch do - and how is it different to the MGM SpaceTalk smartwatch or an Apple Watch?

Well, before I get into the detail, why don't we have a look at the official TV ad? That encapsulates its features and capabilities in just 30 seconds.

There are more videos below, too - please read on.

Anyway, the Tobi Robot Smartwatch is billed as being "New wearable tech that keeps kids entertained and learning for hours of fun". It's sold by Little Tikes, a well known brand of toys, games and fun for over 50 years.

Unsurprisingly, the watch is being launched on Sunday, September 27, "just in time for the school holidays",

Isaac Larian, CEO and Founder of MGA Entertainment, Inc. which owns Little Tikes said: "Little Tikes has created iconic childhood toys for decades and we are excited to evolve the brand with new and exciting toys such as Tobi Robot Smartwatch that will provide hours of entertainment for kids.

“It has been an incredibly challenging year for children and their families. We are excited to see Tobi Robot Smartwatch define its position among children’s wearable tech and bring smiles and laughter to kids these school holidays.” he continued.

Tobi Robot Smartwatch has the tagline that it "Comes to Life Before Your Eyes" as it has "moving robot arms and legs, fun sound effects and over 100 expressions that will keep kids giggling, dancing, playing, learning and more".

And to assuage parents worried their kids will destroy this smartwatch before the day is out, we're told that "Tobi Robot Smartwatch’s durability is no match for kid-tough play, indoors and out".

Additional features include:

  • Augmented Reality & Learning Games: Tobi Robot Smartwatch has many action-packed games including: an up and active augmented reality Search & Seek game, learning games, dance activity game, and more. As kids play, they unlock interactive rewards as a bonus!
  • Dual Camera: Two built-in cameras that can film video, take selfies and capture photos. Tobi Robot Smartwatch can store up to 3,000 photos or 30 minutes of video.
  • Tons of Customization: Kids can choose from over 50 watch faces and learn to tell time on both analogue and digital clock faces. Add stickers to every photo and customize Tobi’s virtual room with unlockable decorations as well.
  • Easy to Use: Features a kid-friendly touchscreen, and built-in rechargeable battery with micro-USB cable (included) for easy charging as well as for uploading photos and videos.
  • Encourages Active Play: Includes a motion sensor for the built-in pedometer and fitness challenges and dance activity games to get kids moving.
  • Wireless Connectivity & Messaging: Parents can control pairing of devices via wireless connectivity, ensuring kids send and receive voice or emoji messages and photos between known and nearby Tobi Robot Smartwatch devices.

Here are some more of those features in a YouTube video - the article continues, please read on:

So, how does this differ from the MGM SpaceTalk smartwatch for kids, or the various Apple Watch options?

Well MGM Spacetalk offers a watch for kids, and another for "seniors", with the SpaceTalk Kids being for kids aged 5 to 12 years, and offering phone calling capability that can be limited to certain numbers only, with GPS tracking, but no social media and no camera.

It's definitely a contender but at $299 it is much more expensive than the $70 Tobi.

Tobi has a camera and can send messages to paired devices only, so the devices are similar, but clearly different.

The Apple Watch also has a version that can make calls, send messages and run all kinds of apps, and is the most advanced smartwatch of all.

Apple has a new family mode for Apple Watch Series 4 and above that is specifically aimed at parents wanting to be able to stay in touch with their children, unobtrusively track them as with the SpaceTalk, but the Apple Watch SE starts at $499 for the 40mm GPS + Cellular equipped version and starts at $549 for the 44mm GPS + Cellular version, with GPS only editions at lower prices.

The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $749 for the 40mm GPS+ Cellular version and starts at $799 for the 44mm GPS + Cellular model, with the GPS only versions at lower prices.

Apple also has its Series 3 which starts at $299 for the 38mm version and $349 for the 42mm version. There's no Cellular model with Series 3 anymore unless you buy an older second hand model that offered the feature, and this model isn't compatible with the new Family setup mode.

So there are plenty of smartwatches available for all ages, from 4+ year old children through to seniors, with plenty of different functionality at all the different price points.

There's also the option of just getting a cheap analog or digital watch too - no advanced technology required, but not as much fun!

Finally, here's the Tobi Robot Smartwatch's games menu:

 


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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