A lot of times we get the sense that CES is a few months early on the whole April Fools game, but apparently this one is as real as it gets. Toy making giant Fisher-Price just announced an indoor bike trainer for kids from 3-6 years old that pairs with a tablet or TV (Zwift Junior anyone?). The Think and Learn Smart Cycle is intended to keep your kids active, even if you can’t get them away from screen time. While it seems a bit scary or even sad at first (I mean seriously… get the kids out on a real bike for crying out loud) studies have shown that kids learn better when they are active & engaged so Fisher-Price developed the trainer around a suite of educational apps…

Fisher-Price sees the SmartCycle as a way to help keep kids active and physically fit at a time when the drive is to spend more time sitting around locked into watching TV, playing video games, and spending time on web-connected mobile devices. Their Think & Learn line up is all about devising new ways to combine learning & play, and for the all the adults who get hooked on interactive smart trainers, maybe there is something to the Fisher-Price thinking. The way they put it preschoolers “learn the most by playing, experimenting, and figuring out how things work”, and when kids busy themselves playing and riding the bike at the same time they’re building “the foundation to grow into big thinkers”.

The trainer itself pairs via Bluetooth to a tablet that can mount to its detachable bracket, or can be synced with a compatible TV. It then runs with a series of apps for iOS and Android, partnering with several other popular children’s content brands to link activity on the bike with interactive elements on the games. Fisher Price has actually had a couple of wired versions of the SmartCycle for almost a decade now, but those had been more arcade controllers tied to racing games, and less of an educational item.

Just like the stationary bikes at the gym, the SmartCycle adjusts to fit your growing kid. And through app connectivity it also seems to make it easy for parents to track how much the kiddos actually pedaled over time, and what they learned.

The new Think and Learn SmartCycle is slated for Fall 2017 roll out, although availability could be as early as July. So plenty of time to set it up so junior can join ma & pa riding the turbos through next winter. The kids’ smart trainer will sell for just $150 and include one learning game called Mission to Tech City where kids ride to learn the letters of the alphabet. Other education game apps will be available for about $5 a pop, themed around popular children’s characters.

Is wearing down and tiring out the kid from all the exercise they get a side benefit? Word on the street is also that this may be the first of several similar kid-targeted products to combine stationary activity and more screen time. Ugh.

Fisher-Price.com

13 comments

  1. Non-parent on

    But if all screen time were limited to this, wouldn’t that be better than just handing the rugrat an iPad? Even the best parents use the digital babysitter sometimes (I’m not a parent, but I don’t judge my friends whose kids are highly active but use an iPad when they need 10min…)

    Reply
  2. Chris Murray on

    This could actually be great for my autistic son. He is a sensory seeker so always has to be moving so it could help him focus a bit easier.

    Reply
  3. Collin on

    Does this have force feedback? How accurate is the power meter. I want to make sure my little girl is putting out more watts then your boy.

    Reply
  4. Lil Joe on

    I think it’s great for us folks who get below zero temps in the winter! One can only chase the kids around the house for so long.

    Reply
  5. jjj on

    Ffs, kids are what they are, you cannot get an easy fix for them..at least not at this age.
    Put the pads out of site, dont lead by example (dont use the phone around kids).
    Buy the kids a real fkn bike and get out there.

    Reply
  6. UncleStasiu on

    Currently -6F here nearly 2ft of snow, this is perfect for my 5yo. That said, I’m going to hack something together from a trainer, Raspberry Pi, and touch screen. He stops pedaling, it turns off.

    Reply
  7. Ol Shel on

    Why ever go outside?

    I do think that road cycling will increasingly be challenged by indoor training and web-based competitions, as participants realize that they seek the competition without having to endure traffic, fellow humans, air, views, etc.

    Reply
  8. David on

    I’ve already put this on my list for next fall (baby girl is only 8 months now and is still getting pushed around the house on her Wishbone Flip). By then, when I hear, “Daddy, where is my trainer?” then I’ll have an answer and will be leading by example. When the weather is good, she will be in the trailer for my trainer rides or in parking lots on a balance bike.

    Reply

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