Even toddlers need high-tech exercise bikes these days.
Toymaker Fisher-Price is making just such a contraption, which works directly with gaming apps on little kids’ tablets, the company announced Wednesday.
The Think Learn Smart Cycle is essentially a giant video-game controller allowing children to pedal their way through games as they watch a video monitor or a tablet affixed to the handlebars.
Youngsters who otherwise might be tiny couch potatoes can burn calories — and may even learn a thing or two — thanks to an app included with the bike that incorporates subjects like reading, math, science and social studies.
“We know preschoolers learn best and retain more when they’re active, but they’re also really fascinated with technology like apps,” said Amber Pietrobono, a spokeswoman for Fisher-Price.
“We hope kids will have so much fun playing and pedaling that they won’t even realize they’re learning through content in the apps.”
The bike, which costs $150 and will hit stores in the fall, also works with four other apps, including SpongeBob SquarePants and Shimmer and Shine games.
It’s equipped with Bluetooth technology as well, and will work with apps on Apple TV and Android TV.
“Kids control their learning by using the handlebars, joystick and a fun pedaling action to progress through the learning content and games,” Pietrobono said. “So essentially, the more kids pedal, the more they can learn.”
Parents can take a peek at the apps to see how long their kids have been pedaling — and which subjects they’ve been learning.
This isn’t the first exercise bike for tots the company has released. In 2007, it launched the first version of the Smart Cycle, which plugged directly into the TV and came with gaming cartridges.
“Fitness and childhood obesity were hot topics at the time,” toy industry analyst Jim Silver told CNNMoney. “This got kids to exercise as they learned.”
According to a survey conducted by Fisher-Price, preschool children spend 21 percent of their playtime with electronic devices and another 19 hours a week watching TV or videos.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently said that kids 2 to 5 years of age should only spend about an hour a day watching screens.