A start-up watch company with ambitions to create the world’s most practical smart watch for kids has raised $778,000 (£583,000) in investment, smashing the initial $50,000 (£37,000) target that it had set.
The founders of ‘Octopus’ used crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise cash for their watch venture, which is aimed at children aged 3- to 8-years-old.
The watch is built for children who don’t yet understand time and, according to the founders, “unlike other products on the market, it’s wearable, visual and it grows with your kids”.
On the Kickstarter website, the company states: “Studies have shown that children under 8-years-old don’t understand the concept of time, let alone remember what to do when a certain time rolls around. We have designed the first watch that helps them understand how parents expect them to use their time. We believe this will help children form good habits and help them to take responsibility for their actions.”
The watch works in three modes adapted to different stages of childhood development. The first mode helps kids understand time by association. It displays a big icon that is associated with a task to accomplish, according to a schedule set by the parent. The second and the third modes teaches kids to read digital and analogue time. Parents can programme visual reminders on their smartphone that will pop up on the watch at certain times with a discreet vibration.
Everything is setup via an app, so Octopus can evolve with a child’s needs. It provides adjustable templates for routines based on age and gender and can sync up in real time via Bluetooth. Everything is stored physically on the memory of the watch, so the system can keep track of the progress. Some features are unlocked based on the age, such as new clock faces.
After a successful testing phase, Octopus is expected to use the funds to begin commercial production of the range.