My daughter has had a cellphone since the third grade. She didn’t get to keep it with her at all times; it was just for her to take along on overnight school trips, and it was a way to be sure she could reach us whenever she wanted when one of us couldn’t go along. I got a pre-paid phone for her that never seemed to work well and was always in danger of being accidentally left behind somewhere. I would have loved for her to have this wearable device from FiLIP Technology back then, and I would have made sure she wore it every day. The FiLIP looks like a watch, and it’s made in sizes and colors specially for children aged 4-11. In addition to the watch functions, you can program the FiLIP with five phone numbers that the child can call with the device’s 2-way GSM cellular voice technology. (Parents can also send a one-way text message to the child’s watch, but the child can’t text back.)
The FiLIP’s GPS locator also uses cell tower location and Wi-Fi triangulation to allow you to accurately pinpoint where your child is, and it can even notify you when your child has entered or left pre-defined “safe zones”. There’s an intelligent emergency procedure that will text the five pre-defined numbers with a link to the child’s current location when the red button is pressed for 3 seconds. The watch then begins to record ambient sounds and calls the first number so the child can talk to a parent. If the first call isn’t answered, it tries all the other numbers until someone answers. The FiLIP can even be programmed to call emergency services if none of these calls are answered.
The FiLIP was designed to “comply with the strictest global limits of safe exposure to radio frequency energy”, and it has just received FCC certification. You’ll need the iOS or Android app and an account to program and monitor the FiLIP, and you can even monitor multiple FiLIPs with the same app. The FiLIP will be available for pre-sale in the fall and will ship in time for the 2013 holiday season.