Ever wanted to know what Mario Kart would be like if you had to pedal to the finish line? Fisher-Price's new SmartCycle, for kids age 3 to 6, is a large appcessory that requires them to pedal their way through several learning-based games, working both their bodies and brains at the same time. We saw it in action at CES, and we think it holds some promise.
Why Should I Care?
Because your overactive toddler is either running around the house like a maniac, or obsessively using your iPad. Or both. The SmartCycle, which looks like a Big Wheel mounted on a platform, will scratch their itches to play video games while at the same time getting rid of some of their excess energy.
How Does It Work?
The SmartCycle connects via Bluetooth to a Fisher-Price app (Android and iOS), which has a number of games. The faster the child pedals, the faster his or her cart will go around the track. The handlebars of the SmartCycle also turn, so your child can steer himself or herself around the game, too. If you have an Apple TV, Amazon Fire, or Android TV, you can also stream the game to your TV.
In addition to the physical aspect of the games, there is a learning component to each of several different fields, including math, STEM, science, and social studies.
Pricing and Availability
Meant for children from 3 to 6, the SmartCycle will be available in the fall of 2017 for $149. The SmartCycle Mission to Tech City app will be free to download, while additional games, such as a SpongeBob SquarePants theme, will cost $4.99 each.
If your kid is already addicted to video games or watching TV, then the SmartCycle could be a good way for him or her to get some exercise, both mentally and physically, while sitting in front of the tube. At $149, it's reasonably priced, so we can see this becoming the next big thing in kids' toys.
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Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.