Fitbit reportedly developing cellular-enabled wearable for older kids

Fitbit Ace 3 on the wrist
(Image credit: Fitbit)

What you need to know

  • Fitbit is said to be working on a wearable device meant to help parents monitor their kids.
  • It is supposedly part of an internal effort dubbed Project Eleven after a famous Netflix show character.
  • The device will reportedly make its debut in 2024, featuring GPS and cellular connectivity.

Fitbit appears to be dabbling in a new type of market where parents can monitor their kids through a wearable device. A new report sheds light on the company's plans to create a Fitbit device that can connect to cellular networks.

According to Business Insider (opens in new tab), Fitbit is working on a wearable device that features cellular and GPS connectivity to allow parents to monitor and contact their kids without relying on a smartphone. This device is said to be part of a project code-named Project Eleven, after the main character in Netflix's Stranger Things.

The goal is to "help older kids form healthy relationships with their phones and social media," according to two employees familiar with the plan as quoted by Business Insider. The sources revealed that Fitbit made two prototypes, one with a screen and one without. According to them, new bands will be sent to the device on a monthly basis as part of a subscription plan.

Anil Sabharwal, the Fitbit team's vice president of special projects based in Australia and the former head of Google Photos, is said to be in charge of the project. According to the report, Fitbit may release the device in 2024, though plans may change.

Fitbit was supposedly working on a smartphone meant for kids and older adults in 2021 before it was acquired by Google, which presumably led to the scrapping of that effort. Some technical and logistics issues were also cited as major roadblocks to that plan. The handset would have featured a camera and cellular connectivity if it came to fruition.

If the latest initiative succeeds, it will be a game changer. It's unlike many of the best smartwatches for kids that money can buy today. The Fitbit Ace 3 tracker is the most recent kid-focused wearable device released by Fitbit. It allows children aged 6 and up to select their favorites, set personalized goals, and join in friendly family competitions. These features and more are likely to make an appearance on the upcoming Fitbit wearable as well.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.