ViacomCBS Networks International is getting into the wearable device market with its new NickWatch set to launch in 2022.
Developed in partnership with Israeli tech start-up Watchinu, the wearable for kids features character-inspired photo filters, sound effects, stickers and games that will be updated on an ongoing basis. Each device comes with a smartwatch body, two bands (one branded Nickelodeon band and one premium band) and a character-focused charging base. Pricing, retail partners and market availability are to be announced at a later date.
Parents and caregivers will be able to send texts, stickers, timers, reminders, photos and voice messages to the NickWatch from their phones, and kids can respond using pre-written responses, voice-to-text, emojis or photos. Children can also use the device to call contacts from their directory, and can receive incoming calls from pre-selected numbers. And NickWatch will use GPS, WiFi and cellular towers to help families to stay connected via a map feature.
In the past, a number of smartwatches have run into privacy issues around GPS tracking and data collection. The Federal Network Agency (Germany’s telecommunications regulator) previously banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at kids; the Enox Safe Kid One smartwatch was recalled by the European Union in 2019 over data privacy concerns; and the US Federal Trade Commission sent warnings about collecting personal information and violating COPPA to two companies making kid-targeted smartwatches in 2018. NickWatch will be assessed by VCNI on a market-by-market basis to address local laws, including child data privacy regulations, as the device rolls out.