With the holidays fast approaching, UNICEF has found a nice confluence of 2015 holiday gold — wearable technology and Star Wars — to help them get kids active in more ways than one. The UNICEF Kid Power Band is coming exclusively to Target, and while Star Wars might be the bait that hooks kids, there’s a greater mission behind these bands.
The Kid Power Band itself is mostly just a pedometer — the bulk of UNICEF’s initiative lies within the Kid Power platform. The companion app sets up fitness goals as missions that kids can go on to earn points and learn about other cultures around the world. With those points, kids can unlock therapeutic food packets that UNICEF will deliver to malnourished children in other parts of the world.
Of course, the initiative is more directly about kids in this country — if a bunch of kids here don’t walk enough, I’m pretty sure (or at least I hope) that UNICEF isn’t going to start holding out on kids in need worldwide. Instead, it’s part of UNICEF’s greater goal to get young kids in developed countries engaged and interested in global issues, especially where it relates to kids their age struggling in other countries. The gamification of cultural learning is a way to plant the idea that kids here can make a difference globally — an idea that hopefully will sprout and bear fruit when these kids eventually make their way into universities and careers.
For now, it sure helps that some of these bands have Star Wars plastered on them. Disney and Target are helping to sponsor the Kid Power initiative, with Disney allowing the bands to bear the Star Wars logo under the Force for Change name. Meanwhile, Target is getting involved by selling the things — the Kid Power Band can be preordered on Target.com for $40 in blue or orange, or in special Star Wars editions in black or white.