No matter how many precautions are taken, a parent’s worry for their child’s whereabouts isn’t something that is easily quelled — if at all. It’s ingrained deep in our wiring to be worried for our offspring. From getting lost to more serious concerns like predators, the only defense a parent really has are cell phones. For younger children, though, a smartphone comes with excessive maintenance costs even if it may contain everything a parent needs to feel better.
Inventor Lionnel Legros has created Linkoo to ease the worry of parents across the globe. Linkoo is a combination GPS tracker and cell phone for specifically for kids. The myriad of bright, fun color options appeals to kids while the integrated GSM appeals to parents, programmable with each parent’s number and one SOS number for emergencies. The child can make calls to these numbers or receive calls from anywhere around the world, and if the child doesn’t pick up a call, the watch will automatically call back ensuring the parent gets in contact no matter what. A Web portal and companion iOS/Android apps offer parents an additional layer of protection in the form of maps with real-time tracking and geo-fencing capabilities. The Linkoo is going for $129 with an estimated delivery date of March 2015. Inventor Lionel Legros is looking for $50,000 in funding.
Capitalizing on a child’s excitement for their first watch is a smart move on the inventor’s part, even if it’s a little sneaky. But for parents, nothing is ever too sneaky to ensure their child’s safety. The excessive costs associated with maintaining a smartphone for a child are mitigated with a solution that keeps just the essentials, making it very child-friendly. There are tons of other GPS, childcare smart watches on the market like the 1Decision Bracelet that interacts with an accompanying bracelet worn by the parent, taking responsibility off of the child’s shoulders to signal for help. So the question remain: will a child actually wear it if they were to know what it actually does? The video paints an ideal picture, but is it a truthful one? We all know how finicky children can be, after all.