Bright. Yellow. Cheap. These are words practically screamed by a new smartphone made for wrists. Adults would look insane to wear it, but that’s because it’s not for them, it’s for kids, and for keeping them safe.
If you’ve ever tried to look for a cheap phone for kids, chances are you’ve argued with yourself and someone else on if the child is ready yet, and even if they are, there’s the question of what you get them. After all, phones aren’t cheap, some are hard to use, and what you end up buying might not be easily found or charged when they need to be.
But what if there was a different solution: what if instead of leaving the handset in the child’s backpack, you strapped it to their wrists? You could check on it when they come home, see if they’re wearing it, charge it every few days, and know that the child is always be looked out for with a phone in a watch.
That’s the idea for the Aussie Safe Kids watch, a gadget that is essentially a quad-band GSM phone with GPS connectivity sitting inside of a bright thick plastic watch, held to a wrist with a rubbery silicone band.
The watch phone also has a microphone and speaker, making it more like something out of Dick Tracy or even possibly the future, able to make calls by speaking into the watch, and there’s even a clock if the owner needs to, perish the thought, tell the time.
Making calls and checking what the time is are only two functions, and the Aussie Safe Kids owner and founder is quick to point out has more to do with easy location, and relying on a GPS signal to make that happen, finding your kids in a jiffy.
The system is supposed to work by simply texting a code to the phone, similar to a USSD code on your phone. In reality, it’s the number five, a hash, and then your own password for the phone which will be a set of numbers. Once received, the Aussie Safe Kids watch phone sends grabs the GPS coordinates and sends this over SMS to the phone that sent the password to begin with.
Testing this feature, it tends to work half of the time, with a second or third text required to get the system going. When it does work, you’ll get a text back shortly with the coordinates, which Google Maps can take and show you where the watch last was.
If, however, the watch is too far away from a signal, the watch might call out to its wearer using the speaker and tell them to go outside, which happened to us twice.
Similarly, the phone also supports a code that can switch on the microphone of the watch and let you listen in to what’s happening around the watch.
Families keen on this service will likely be impressed, that said, even if the watch isn’t the best looking product in the world, with its bubbly exterior and buttons everywhere. And we’re talking buttons everywhere, with numbers zero through nine sitting on the top, dotting the border of the clock, with a green start call and red hang up button sitting in the 12 and 11 o’clock positions respectively.
With this array of number buttons, it would be easy for your kids to make all manner of random phone calls, but Aussie Safe Kids tells us that you can also out your kids from making phone calls using the buttons up top, with the side buttons set to speed dial specific numbers, useful in an emergency.