Have you ever seen a parent walking around with their child attached to a leash and thought, there has to be a better way? So has hereO, a family location service founded in 2011. The company’s first product, the hereO GPS watch, isn’t the first child-tracking watch to hit the market, but it might be the first that kids actually want to wear.
Unlike other kid-focused gear out there, hereO claims its watch was made with young children in mind. It’s super tiny — designed to fit the wrists of children between 3 and 8. I put one on my wrist, just to see if there was a chance it would fit, but it only made it about halfway around. That’s a good thing, since it means it’s likely not to slide off of a tiny arm.
The watch features an adjustable strap with a clasp, which also helps to keep it secure. (On the other hand, younger children might need a little help learning to put it on at first.) It’s likely to have a much better fit than the Filip watch, for instance, since that uses an open design that’s easier to slip off. It’s also water resistant, and tough enough to stand up to a good round of playtime. The photo below shows how it’s smaller than smaller than most of the competition out there.
You can also tell the watch was designed with young children in mind just from the look of it. Thankfully, I don’t have much (OK, any) experience getting kids ready for school. But if movies have taught me anything, it’s that they always want to wear tutus or Spiderman costumes. With that in mind, I can see how hereO, with its fun, whimsical color combinations, might be the type of watch kids actually want to wear.
For adults, the watch features an embedded SIM card and GPS. That allows parents to locate exactly where their children are through hereO’s website or corresponding iOS(s aapl) or Android(s goog) app (a Windows Phone(s msft) app is also in the works). The watch features a panic alert that children can trigger with a special gesture (which is easy enough to remember, but complicated enough not to trigger accidentally), and parents can create designated safe zones, which automatically sends notifications when their child has traveled outside of a specified region.
Unlike the Filip watch, hereO only displays the time. It also has no other features outside of its GPS capabilities (Filip can also make calls). It lasts between 24 to 72 hours on a charge, and the built-in SIM works in more than 140 countries without roaming fees. HereO is charging $4.95 per month of service, but if you pre-order, there are a few options that come with six months of free service.
The hereO GPS watch is available now for pre-order on Indiegogo, starting at $99. Retail MSRP is expected to be $149, and the watch is estimated to start shipping in July.