Learning financial literacy is important at any age, and tech startup Mellow thinks it’s best to do it as soon as possible.
The company is working on a mature hour (Opens in a new tab)A colorful smartwatch designed to teach children under the age of five the always important topic of money and how to spend responsibly. Although it looks like a game, it actually has contactless payment enabled and a host of security features.
As described, the Mellow Watch can be considered a small smartwatch. Focuses on teaching financial literacy to children between the ages of 5 and 13, but has some typical sports smartwatch features.
For starters, the watch has a virtual debit card that links to a parent’s bank account via the parent app, which can manage multiple devices. Parents can provide a daily hourly allowance and set rules for how the money is spent. Mellow Watch works anywhere contactless payments are accepted with transactions that appear on the parent app. And if the child gets a little crazy about spending, notifications will appear telling him to slow down.
To make financial literacy more attractive to youngsters, the developers have included some game-like modes. Parents can run the allowance based on chores and make their children earn money by completing household chores. Goal-Based Savings are daily challenges that encourage children to save money and develop the habit of saving.
The Mellow Watch also works as a phone. It works on 4G LTE network to make calls or send texts on the touch screen. The screen is pretty small, but since it’s intended for kids, their hands should be small enough to type in something.
The security features on the device are fairly robust as well. There is real-time GPS tracking and the watch automatically blocks unknown numbers. If you’re concerned about your financial details leaking, Mellow states that the device is compatible with EMVco And the PCI DSSThese are security standards designed by major credit card companies to protect sensitive information.
It even has a pedometer thrown in as a good gauge. The only thing missing is a bunch of apps. We asked Mellow if entertainment apps, like YouTube, will make their way to the smartwatch. We’ll update this story if we hear back.
If you are interested in purchasing one, you will have to wait a while. Mellow Watch will be launched in the Kickstarter campaign starting August 15th. It is unknown how much the watch will cost nor the packaged deals that will be available. You can sign up for an email notification when the campaign starts.
Analysis: The audience is misplaced
Admittedly, this is an interesting piece of art but we just wonder how useful it is. Teaching financial literacy to young children is commendable, but are young children able to understand money and the responsibility that comes with it? It seems that even Milo is asking himself on this front.
Besides the allowance, parents can alternatively give Star Points to their young children in lieu of money. It doesn’t look like the points can be used to buy anything; They are just collectibles. If so, you are not teaching the kids about finances. Instead, you teach kids how to play a game and collect points. Real world application is important.
In addition, this device seems to be better suited for older children, especially with its complexity. A 13-year-old can navigate this little smartwatch, but can a five-year-old? Should she? Kids are smart, but you still have to keep things simple. In the end, we can only speculate until the official launch.
If you are interested in technology focused on children, we have List of the best laptops for kids. They are designed to be easy to use and withstand harsh handling.