Press release

Xplora Challenges Kids to Walk to Mars

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Xplora, the company that makes Europe’s leading smartwatch for kids, today announced it is launching a global (or “extraterrestrial”) initiative to encourage children to walk to Mars. With the arrival of Perseverance in February and Tianwen-1 in May, interest in Mars is higher than it has been in years.

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Join children around the world as Xplora challenges them to join the spacerace and walk to Mars (Photo: Business Wire)

Join children around the world as Xplora challenges them to join the spacerace and walk to Mars (Photo: Business Wire)

Xplora was founded with the mission to give children a safe onboarding to the digital world and a better balance between screen time and physical activity. The renewed Mars interest drove Xplora to develop a new challenge.

“Studies show children’s screen time has more than doubled during the pandemic. Children using our platform are more than twice as physically active compared to those that do not, so we wanted to do something to encourage more activity,” said Sten Kirkbak, CEO of Xplora. “Children with Xplora smartwatches walk enough steps to go around the world every day. That meant the children would walk enough steps combined to walk to the moon in just three weeks, so we wanted a more aggressive goal – we wanted to have the kids beat Elon Musk to Mars.”

Walking to Mars

The Walk to Mars: Join the Space Race campaign will aggregate children’s walking activity across the world to help them get to Mars quickly. At its closest approach, Mars is 33.9 million miles/56.4 million kilometers away, meaning it would take Xplora users in aggregate a few decades to walk to Mars. While Xplora believes in promoting healthy activity throughout life, that is a bit too much. Xplora is giving the kids a boost, with every 1000 steps equaling 10 kilometers, to equate to the positive energy they receive from regular exercise. With the boost and additional slingshot maneuvers they can find, the goal is for the children to reach Mars in two months at current activity levels.

Xplora users can check the Walk to Mars leaderboard to track their progress daily and see how they compare to other kids across the world. Children can also win prizes when they meet their step goals to provide additional incentives. These prizes include an iPad and LEGO City Space Rocket and a mini-drone.

As part of the campaign, Xplora is teaming up with influencers and organizations such as the YMCA of Greater Cleveland to encourage kids to be more active.

“The YMCA of Greater Cleveland is always seeking partners to help us promote the balanced development of spirit, mind and body. We appreciate Xplora’s donation of 50 X5 Play Smartwatches, which will aid in our efforts to get kids more active and families better connected,” said Ana Thomas, Vice president of Youth Development, YMCA of Greater Cleveland. “We look forward to helping our kids in this global walk to Mars.”

About the X5 Play

The X5 Play is the only smartwatch with phone functionality designed for children ages 4-11 with gamification, a step tracker and Goplay access built in to help drive more physical activity. Xplora is more effective than traditional fitness and GPS trackers because it encourages kids to move through fun activities and gamification, in order to build a better balance between screen time and activity. With the X5 Play, children can make and receive calls from up to 50 approved contacts, while parents can have peace of mind knowing their child’s location. Kids can take and store up to 1,000 pictures, track their steps to earn prize incentives through the Xplora Goplay platform which encourages children to be more physically active.

The Xplora Goplay platform includes popular gamification content launched in collaboration with Sony Interactive, Paramount’s Dora and the Lost City Gold, and Spies in Disguise from Fox Disney. All collaborations are specifically designed to keep kids motivated, engaged, and moving – and the content is proven to work. Recently, Xplora users walked more than 1.8 billion steps to play the Tom & Jerry The Movie virtual pinball game, which equals 262,000 hours of physical activity. The company is also launching a new Spy Racers 4 game on May 3.

Pricing and availability

The X5 Play is available for $189.99 on and will work with all major carriers with an appropriate Nano SIM.

About Xplora

Xplora is a platform and services company and an industry leader in the market for children’s smartwatches. Xplora was founded to give children a safe onboarding to the digital life and a better balance between screen time and physical activity. Xplora’s vision is to enable children around the world to experience how their everyday activities can create value and make a positive change to the world. The company is headquartered in Norway with operations in leading European markets. Xplora is listed on Euronext Growth under the ticker symbol XPLRA.

About the YMCA of Greater Cleveland

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland is a nonprofit organization that provides services and programs through traditional branches in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lorain and Portage counties, numerous non-facility locations, and program branches throughout Northeast Ohio. Its areas of focus are youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Cleveland also operates Y-Haven, a facility providing addiction recovery services and transitional housing in Cuyahoga County. More at

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