Reima Clothing Launch the ReimaGO | Could This Be What Parents Need to Get Their Kids Playing Outdoors?
The Finnish company has launched an innovative tech solution which encourages kids to swap computer games for real-life adventures
Everyone knows that encouraging kids to be active and play outside is crucial for their development. Quite apart from keeping them fit and healthy physically, active play can have all sorts of mental benefits too.
"Reima have been making jackets for Finnish children to play in the coldest conditions for more than 70 years."
Of course, in an increasingly digital world, persuading kids to put down the iPad and get outside can be tricky. However Finnish brand Reima reckon they've come up with an innovative solution to the problem.
Reima are specialists in kids clothing - they’ve been making jackets and kit for Finnish children to play in the coldest conditions for more than 70 years. They've teamed up with fellow Finns Suunto who are based literally just round the corner from them in Helsinki and make some of the world’s best dive computers and GPS equipment, to create the ReimaGO.
The device is a miniature movement sensor and GPS chip just slightly bigger than a £2 coin which kids can carry around in their pockets, or in the specially-designed slot in Reima jumpers. The GPS detects the kid’s movements and can then be linked up to a smartphone or an iPad to show them what they’ve been up to, how active they’ve been and where their playing has taken them on a map.
The best thing about the system though is the app, which allows parents to give kids rewards when they beat high scores, or complete certain objectives. As Matti Lehtovirta from Reima explains: “It’s like a 21st century version of the gold star charts that many parents pin to their fridges". For kids, the idea is that it adds another level to outdoor play, allowing them to unlock new rewards like you would levels on a computer game.
Unlike like an actual computer game such Pokemon Go however, this game is all about leaving your phone or tablet at home until after playtime is over. The tech has only just launched in the UK (where its available exclusively from Snow & Rock), but as Lehtovirta explains, it’s already proved very popular with arguably the toughest people to please - kids themselves.
With childhood obesity increasingly becoming a problem in developed nations, technology like the ReimaGO, which encourages kids to get outdoors and play more actively and more often, could have far reaching implications. Not only that, it will hopefully help inspire a new generation of adventure enthusiasts.