By Andrew Liszewski
People don’t give kids enough credit. I mean while I applaud companies that try to come up with clever ways to get kids off the couch, you’re never going to trick them into getting some exercise. But a little positive reinforcement never hurts, and that’s what Takara Tomy’s new Sprint Gear provides.
It’s a combination of a special set of sensor-equipped sneaks, the SJJ-4490 and SJJ-4570 from Japanese shoemaker Shunsoku, and an interactive wristband. In a way you can draw comparisons to the Nike + iPod setup, except that this is clearly targeted towards a younger market. The wristband is primarily designed to provide a way for kids to track their performance, how far they can run in a given time etc. but there also appears to be some manner of mini-games that can be unlocked based on how long you’ve been active or how far you’ve gone. Syncing the pedometer data from the shoe just requires the wearer to touch the Shunsoku logo on the shoe, which I assume starts up some intermittent wireless transfer of the data.
The Takara Tomy website seems to list a price tag of about $35 (¥2,940) amongst all the untranslatable images. And I’m going to assume that’s for just the wrist band component. From the looks of it the shoes are sold separately.