Parents can now monitor how their kids are feeling through a child-friendly smart watch.
The latest software update for the Spacetalk Adventurer includes a wellness feature that allows children to send real-time emotion updates straight from their watch, simply by tapping the emoji that best reflects how they feel.
Joe Hart, principal psychologist and director at True Perspectives, says the new feature may help parents detect if their children are struggling but should not be a substitute for face-to-face conversations.
“Let’s be honest, we are all busy and maybe we don’t know what’s going on with our children or they don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings,” says Hart, a father of four.
“If there are some challenges arising with your children, and they’re not equipped with the tools or the language to talk to parents about it, then this is really smart.
“But if you really want to understand what’s going on, you can’t bypass a good conversation.”
Hart also warns against false reporting, suggesting younger children, in particular, may select an emoji they like, or think is funny, rather than identifying with the feeling it portrays.
MENTAL HEALTH TOOL
However, Spacetalk chief executive officer Mark Fortunatow says the feature will be extremely valuable for parents concerned about their child’s mental health. “This child-friendly way to express emotions is especially helpful if your child is too young or still learning to tell others how they feel and, with the addition of HD video calling, you will be able to see these emotions face-to-face and in real-time,” he says.
“It is so important that now, more than ever, we ensure the wellbeing of our children, with depression and anxiety almost doubling since the rise of Covid.”
SOUNDS AND HEART RATE
The wellness feature also gives children access to funny sounds, including musical instruments and animal noises, to encourage laughter and help relieve stress, he says.
Heart rate and step count can also be recorded to monitor the wearer’s physical wellbeing.
The smart watch has heart rate, step count, two-way calling, SMS and location tracking but does not allow social media or open internet access.
* The Spacetalk Adventurer sells for $349 and requires a $5.99 monthly app fee plus a SIM card.
Originally published as Smart watch can monitor your child’s wellbeing and feelings each day with emojis