What's the Latest Development?
After losing his three-year-old son Filip for a half-hour, Sten Kirkbak was inspired to create a location device that could be worn by kids and would take advantage of existing mobile technology. The result is the Filip smartwatch, and although it looks like a plastic toy -- and does tell time -- it contains some serious tech. Embedded GPS, wi-fi, and GSM allow parents to monitor their child's location via a smartphone app, have two-way phone conversations, and send one-way text messages. Even more important is the red emergency button: When pressed and held, up to five predefined phone numbers receive text and phone calls with location data.
What's the Big Idea?
By creating a device for kids, Filip occupies a very small but potentially influential spot in the growing trend of wearable computers. The company's Web site offers an appeal to simpler times, when "[k]ids ran free and returned at dinnertime, and parents didn't worry so much." What's not being offered, at least not yet, is a timeframe for when Filip will be available for purchase, or a price for the device. Also, says writer Kevin C. Tofel, "The ability to make cellular calls and receive texts mean there will be some type of service plan required by carriers, of course."
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