Part of being a kid is playing outside and exploring, so it’s impossible to keep an eye on your children at all times. With this in mind, GPS tracking for kids has become increasingly popular. The hereO watch is the latest GPS tracking device aimed at providing parents with peace of mind.
The hereO is by no means the first GPS watch for kids. Also available are the FiLIP smartwatch and the Nu.M8, and way back in 2002 there was the Wherify Wireless. The FiLIP device has a pretty nifty voice call feature that allows parents to call their kids, but the hereO has some clever features of its own.
The device pairs with a smartphone or tablet app that shows where a child is at any given moment. It focuses very much on family though, and will also show where other family members are by connecting with the apps on their devices. Apps will be made available for iOS and Android first, followed by Windows Phone and Blackberry in late 2014.
One particularly useful piece of functionality is the ability for parents to draw a “virtual fence” around specific areas, such as gardens or a school, using the map in the hereO app. A notification will then be sent if the child moves outside one of the predetermined areas.
Having kids wear a miniature mobile phone on their wrist so they can be contacted at any time may help ease those worries, which is where Tinitell could prove invaluable to nervous parents.
With Tinitell, Mats Horn and his team have created a simple mobile phone designed to be worn on the wrist. The design is minimal, with features limited to a microphone and speaker, an on/off switch, volume buttons, and a oversized answer/hang up button. There’s no display, with the “face” spanning just over a square inch and the device housing a CPU, memory, GPS, and an accelerometer. The inclusion of GSM makes Tinitell one of the smallest standalone mobile phones ever made.
Calls can be made using voice recognition, with children pressing and holding the main button while speaking the name of the person they want to call. Kids who aren’t confident using voice recognition can instead use the volume buttons to scroll through their list of contacts, which are read out by the watch. A variety of ringtones can also be assigned to each Tinitell.
Tinitell can receive incoming calls from any phone, but the adult overseeing operations can limit calls to a pre-defined set of specific numbers. There is also the option to assign numbers that will be answered automatically, so a parent could ring their child and be guaranteed the call will be connected without the child even having to press a button.
Tinitell requires a SIM card to work, which is slotted in under the battery; a battery which should be good for 60 minutes of talk time and a full seven days on standby. Charging is claimed to take less than an hour via micro-USB.
The software is updated automatically, as is the contact list that a parent or guardian can update via the Tinitell website or accompanying iOS and Android smartphone apps. The apps can also be used to monitor calls being made or to locate the Tinitell via GPS.