iBitz PowerKey for Kids Pedometer Review

GeoPalz App-Linked Pedometer

iBitz PowerKey Home Screen
iBitz PowerKey Home Screen. iBitz PowerKey Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

The iBitz PowerKey pedometer and app are designed for kids age 5 and up to earn rewards for their walking steps. Parents are a key part of the game and rewards, and they can view the child's full activity info on the iBitz Unity adult/family app.

The iBitz system requires an iOS mobile device that can use Bluetooth Low Energy to sync data. That includes iPhone 4s and above, iPad 4 and above, iPod mini and iPod touch (5th generation and above).

The iBitz pedometer has no display. The child wears it clipped to his shoelaces or on his waistband. To see how many steps he has taken, it needs to be synced to the iOS device to be read on the PowerKey app. The iBitz sensor has a replaceable CR2032 battery that should last for six months.

Parents Guide the Fun

A parent needs to set up the iBitz account, and a credit card is necessary to abide by COPPA child online privacy standards.

The parent then sets the goals and rewards for the child. The goal can be 5000 steps or less. Parents choose whether the child will get Disney Club Penguin digital currency or a reward set by the parent. They suggest screen time or other rewards.

Now the homescreen shows a rocket ship, and by logging steps and syncing with the app, the ship goes into lightspeed, with fun sound effects.

The child can view their progress towards the next goal.

When the ship reaches the step goal set by the parent, the child reaches the next planet and a GeoPalz character does a little dance.

The space graphics are lovely and fun.

The child can then press a button to alert their parent that they earned a reward. The parent receives an email saying it's time to fulfill the reward and set a new goal and reward. In the future, there may be more games added to the app and rewards that parents can purchase.

After completing the goal, the child is asked what snack would be the best for the GeoPalz character to fuel their explorations and is given a choice between a healthy one such as carrots and one that is junk food. Selecting the healthier option, they are congratulated for the wise choice.

Family Fitness Tracking with Unity App

To see full stats on the child's activity, parents should also set up the iBitz Unity app. This app can be paired with multiple iBitz pedometers, both for kids and adults. You can see a whole family's stats within the app.

The data tracked for each person includes step count, distance, calories burned, and weight. Hourly, daily, monthly and yearly stats can be viewed.
Review: Ibitz Unity adult app.

Bottom Line on the iBitz

Drawbacks:

  • There is no numerical display on the sensor. You have to sync it with the mobile device to see your progress.
  • Currently, the gaming aspect is limited to the space exploration game, but the app is under continuous revision and more will likely be added.
  • The only stats visible in the PowerKey app at this time are total steps and steps uploaded at the last sync. That may change in the future.
  • At this time, I would say that the Striiv pedometer and Zamzee Activity Meter have more to offer in the way of fun and games.

Positives:

  • Each iBitz sensor is relatively low cost, so a whole family can each wear one and they can track their activity stats on one or more iOS devices.
  • Because it is app-based, the developers will be able to add functions to the app without you having to invest in a new device.
  • The iBitz system requires interaction between the parent and the child for goals and rewards. That encourages the whole family to be engaged in keeping each other active.
  • GeoPalz has been in the business of designing pedometers for kids for several years. I saw a selection for sale at my local medical clinic.
    Review: GeoPalz Classic pedometers

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