Chinese internet giant Baidu has joined up with 361 Degrees, a leading mainland sports firm, to launch a line of smart kids shoes which enables parents to track where their kids are, a prominent step forward for the burgeoning mainland wearables market. The four pairs of kids sneakers from 361 Degrees go on sale March 20 for 499 yuan (HK$633), an announcement from the company said. Equipped with Baidu Hawkeye and Baidu Map technology, parents can monitor the child’s location through a phone app, how many steps their child has taken and the number of calories spent. The wearable medical devices market in China represents an enormous and growing market, according to iMediaResearch. The firm's data shows that health tech devides were worth 420 million yuan in 2012 but will grow to 1.2 billion yuan this year. In announcing the collaboration, 361 Degrees president Ding Wuhao identified technology as a key focus for the group’s future. The shoes appear primed to tap the growing middle class with their accessible price point and parents concern for their child’s safety and health, helped in no small part by China’s one child policy. At the same time, obesity rates in Chinese youth are outpacing the rates in older age segments. A study done by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revealed that in 1980, just 5.7 per cent of people under 20 years old in the country were overweight or obese but that jumped to 18.8 per cent in 2013. Similar GPS tracking shoes have been developed on the mainland for elderly people with dementia. Last year, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology and Xiamen-based tech firm Kingtop launched Zaina Smart Shoes designed for senior citizens. However the Baidu and 361 Degrees smart kids shoes line is the first involving two companies on a large scale. Meanwhile, the Apple iWatch which includes health features including a heartbeat tracker and a pedometer is expected to be on sale in the US sometime this year followed by a China launch. Shenzhen-based ZTE, the world’s fifth-biggest telecommunications equipment supplier, introduced its rival "Blue Watch" early last year.