BARCELONA—As if it’s not enough that children can access Nickelodeon content on TV, smartphones and tablets, now Viacom, its parent company, wants to make it available via a branded smartwatch.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, CBS Networks International (VCNI), a division of ViacomCBS, unveiled what it says is the first ever connected smart NickWatch, featuring Nickelodeon-branded content.
In addition to the content, it is a true connected watch, providing a direct line of communication to family and friends, Viacom said. It also includes apps to promote physical and social activity and “help kids explore the world with confidence,” the company said.
The device, available for purchase in 2022, will come with the smartwatch body, two watch bands (one playful Nickelodeon band and one more adult, premium band) and a fun, character-led charging base.
Entertainment based on iconic Nickelodeon IP will include fun and goofy photo filters, motion sound effects and musical instruments that play out according to hand movements. Regular content updates with new games, new stickers, new sound effects, and more will be added on an ongoing basis.
The platform will allow two primary modes of communication: text and voice calls. The parent or caregiver can text the child from their phone, and kids can respond with pre-written responses, voice-to-text, emojis, or photos. The child can also call their parents/contacts within their directory, and they can receive incoming calls from pre-selected contacts. Caregivers can create group threads and can also send sticker messages, timers, reminders, photos, voice messages, and create polls.
Kids and parents can stay connected via a map feature that will allow caregivers and family members to see the current location of everyone in the family via GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular towers, simply downloading the app on their device.
The NickWatch by Nickelodeon was developed in partnership with Watchinu, an Israeli technology startup, which has built and will be operating the device via a licensee agreement with VCNI.
Pricing, retail and distribution partners, as well as market availability, will be announced at a later date by VCNI.
Tom Butts has been the editor in chief of TV Technology since 2001. He started out in this industry reporting for member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995. He is also former editor of DTV Business for Phillips Publishing (now Access Intelligence) and launched digitalbroadcasting.com for VerticalNet in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Maine.
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