12 Comments

Summary:

Instead of buying a complicated phone and location add-on service for your young child, might a rugged smartwatch make more sense? Yes if it can track kids, receive texts and be used for limited phone calls like the FIlip does.

Filip smartwatch

Forget a smartphone; does your younger child need a smartwatch?

The folks behind Filip think so, but the planned device is more of a take on a location and communications service for young children than it is about apps on the wrist. Still, there’s a relatively underserved market for wearable kids devices that provide the basics that a parent would want. And Filip is designed to be a device that young kids would want to wear: it’s rugged and splashproof.

Filip watches in green

Filip comes in four different colors and has a plain, almost toy-like look to it. But make no mistake, this little watch — yes, it tells time too — has some smarts.

Embedded GPS, Wi-Fi and GSM radios support location tracking and two-way phone calls between parent and tot. Parents can use their iOS or Android phone to locate their kids wearing Filip. Plus, they can call their child and have an actual conversation: Filip is limited to send calls to up to five numbers only, which are configured by the parent. Filip can also receive one-way text messages.

Filip textThe device also supports geofencing technology. Parents can set a safe zone and be alerted whenever their Filip-wearing tot wanders outside the invisible fence. Likewise, Filip can be used to tell parents when their child has arrived in a preconfigured safe-zone, such as school or the local library.

I especially like the red emergency button on the side of Filip. Once held for three seconds, a sequence of events happens:

  1. A text message to up to five pre-defined phone numbers are sent with location data.
  2. The device will start recording ambient sound.
  3. Calls are made to the pre-defined phones in succession: If there’s no answer at the first, Filip calls the next, and so on.
  4. In the event of no answer from the five phones, Filip can directly call emergency services.

While all of that sounds good from a children’s smartwatch/security device, there are still a few details missing. For starters, the Filip has no price yet. Preorders start in the third quarter and at that time, more information we be made available. I’m also not sure what the actual services will cost. The ability to make cellular calls and receive texts mean there will be some type of service plan required by carriers, of course.

Regardless, I like the concept of Filip. A smartwatch for younger kids serves multiple purposes between location tracking, security and communications. And it provides that without the complications of an actual handset, which parents are likely considering for kids under 12 or so. Both of my kids — now aged 13 and 15 — use smartphones, but if I now had a younger child in elementary school, I probably would buy a Filip for them as opposed to a phone and add-on location service.

Filip colors

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  1. Shawn Joseph Monday, July 1, 2013

    I’ve got a son turning 10 in October. This is exactly what I have been waiting for. Thanks for the tip

  2. Sweeney Mae – Marketing and Events Expert Monday, July 1, 2013

    Reblogged this on Sweeney Mae – Marketing and Events Expert and commented:
    I love love love innovation especially when it comes to making life/home more convenient.

  3. alexmedawayhasleftthebuilding Monday, July 1, 2013

    damn, the emergency button is an outstanding idea

  4. Where and when will these be available for purchase ?

  5. runningforautism Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    If there was a means to prevent the child from removing this, it would be perfect for my kiddo with autism.

  6. beingjesica Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING takes the place of good parental supervision. i’m afraid that gadgets like these will give false security to parents and they’ll relax their safety standards. also, it looks a little easy to take on and off. what if the kid loses it or has it taken away? it should have a childproof locking strap of some sort. otherwise it’s amazing in theory.

  7. Charles E. Campbell Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Filip is a Great Idea! They should probably provide the capability for parents to subscribe to their cellphone or cable carrier. A $10 per month price sounds about right. For younger children, it should have a irremovable lock. This technology should also be marketed to states needing a less costly community-based monitoring technology for ex-felons, sex-offenders. Additionally, they could add a pulse sensor and market it to seniors with medical conditions, especially alzheimer’s patients.

    I love the innovation!

    Charles E. Campbell, Founder & CEO
    Allen Hydro Energy Corporation (AHEC)
    http://www.ahecEnergy.com
    937-303-1159
    Providing An Innovative Solution To Global Climate Change

  8. I am going to buy one for my mother in law….then I know when she’s coming nearby :-)

  9. japesmcfarland Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    I love it! Also agree with the comments that it should have some kind of a lock. My eight year old would lose it within a day unfortunately., lol

  10. Now helicopter parents can embed themselves in the flesh of their offspring? Perpetual observation only creates an illusion of security.

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