Every year at CES, there’s a tech gadget for kids (sometimes more) that makes us go “Hmmm.” Remember the iPad Potty? Well, this year, the award goes to the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle, which is a mini exercise bike for kids that connects to your tablet.
Now I get that as adults, having our smart phone or tablet on our stationary bike is a lifesaver. Trust me, I have run over 13 miles at one time on a treadmill and watching Netflix was the only way I got through it. But, we’re talking about kids here. Kids who have lots of energy and should be encouraged to use it in all sorts of ways, whether it’s riding a bike or scooter outside, or roller skating in the basement.
And yes, I know not everyone has those luxuries, but if the child has an iPad or a tablet, then my guess is they could have some sporting equipment, or a jumprope to use outside if a backyard or neighborhood sidewalk isn’t an option.
Unlike video games like Just Dance (and its many iterations of the game that we all love here at Cool Mom Tech) where kids are learning dance moves and interacting with their friends (in some cases), the kids on the Smart Cycle are pretty much doing what so many kids do: sitting and playing hours of video games, or watching videos, or watching videos of people playing video games. And sure, it’s great that if they’re doing it anyway, they’ll be burning some energy while they do it. I understand that rationale.
But, I can’t help but wonder if this is feeding the screen-time addiction epidemic rather than changing it (and educating kids about it) which I think a big company like Fisher-Price could actually do.
While I realize not all kids love to play dodgeball or kick a soccer ball around or do gymnastics, I wish there was something about the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle that helped get kids excited about movement and exercise. Because for $150, plus the apps that correspond with the smart cycle itself, parents could be buying a whole lot of cool toys, games, and other equipment that will get kids off screens, which is what we hear so many parents (including us) want.
We’d love to hear from you. What do you think about this? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.