I wrote an article on Nov. 20th about the potential of a fitness wearables targeted at kids. Since then, I was introduced to a company named Sqord that has already built a compelling solution focused on this space. Sqord has great concept and has taken the idea of a kids wearable activity tracker much further than I described. Their belief is that kids love to play with other kids and that play is already social. As such, they have centered their solution around building a unique kid community platform where you can share results with friends, see how you compare to them, and win awards and coins. This is great way to make playing and activity fun for kids.
I spoke with Sqord CEO & Co-Founder Coleman Greene recently about the company and they are up to some exciting things. Currently, the product has launched in Seattle and expected to roll-out elsewhere soon.
Simple Product Design
The product design is quite simple with focus on being affordable, easy to use, and highly durable to withstand every day wear and tear from kids. A focused approach and solid price point will be big benefit early on to attract customers and drive scale. To be successful, Sqord also recognizes that design of the product and appeal to kids will be critical long-term to get them to use it. They compare this to trying to get kids to eat vegetables. Kids don’t typically like stuff that is good for them so you need them to want to wear it. So make it “broccoli with cheese”. So in addition to B2B sales, Sqord understands they will ultimately need to build a direct to consumer presence, great brand, & appealing design that connects with kids.
The real key for Sqord though is their community platform. Many other fitness wearable trackers have social sharing and achievement awards, but these are focused on adults. By building a truly unique online community targeted at kids, Sqord can insure parents that the safety of their kids is protected and they can build awards and achievements that better appeal to kids. As an example, Sqord users generate Sqord coins (called “Sqoins”) that can be redeemed for prizes by the kids. Imagine earning video game credits by doing real activity. What a great tool to help parents incent healthy behavior first. Sqord understands that this community is the real value they bring to table and are even working to support alternative wearable tracker devices like Fitbit or Nike Fuelband so they can provide device choice to kids.
Connecting with Groups
The Sqord platform allows kids to connect with friends, but another great feature is that they allow you to be connected with a youth group or school. This is great way for these organizations help bond their groups together and show tangible results from their programs. Selling to these groups also offers Sqord a great channel model to build scale and provide potential device funding beyond parents. To this end, Sqord has also been working with Healthcare companies as part of Wellness programs to provide devices as well. These companies recognize the huge health costs they face and see this solution as great way to proactive incent healthy behavior. They even believe that healthy kids can help incent healthy parents.
I’m very impressed by the Sqord concept and glad to see a company like this driving innovation in the market. Parents, schools, and youth organizations can certainly use more tools like this to help incent more activity and healthy lifestyles with kids. This is great example of technology used for a better society.
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