FiLIP or Flop?

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Posted: April 2, 2014, 2:19 p.m.
by Addison Viani.

AT&T recently created buzz with its new product that is much more than a smartphone. This $200 device is targeted to customers who have children as young as 4 years old. ABC’s and 123’s are not the only things kids are learning about. These tots now have a new gadget to figure out. The new technology, called FiLIP, is changing the way parents communicate and keep an eye on their little ones.

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FiLIP is a colorful, rubber-coated, watch-like device children wear on their wrists. It has the ability to track their exact location as well as dial five different contact numbers. Aside from two parents, I’m not quite sure what other contacts a 4-year-old would need, but five seems to be the magic number. The FiLIP also has a text-messaging feature. The child can receive and open a text with a maximum length of 24 characters. However, the child cannot respond to the text.

Although this gadget may seem unnecessary for a child, it gives the parents peace of mind. Founder of FiLIP Technologies, Stan Kirkbak, lost his son for 30 minutes in a crowded mall. After finally reuniting with his son, Kirkbak searched for a device to help prevent the situation from happening again. He found nothing in the market but GPS trackers and smartphones that were too complicated for a child to use.

According to its website, “FiLIP has a simple mission – to help kids be kids again, while giving parents an amazing new window into their children’s lives.” The simplistic design of the FiLIP eliminates the distractions found on normal smartphones, but still gives parents reliable reassurance of their child’s whereabouts.

http://www.myfilip.com/founder-story

This product will do well with parents not only because of the features provided, but for its lack of Internet access. There is no need for parents to worry about their kids playing mindless games, sending/receiving pictures or texting their siblings sitting in the next room.

An article in Forbes stated, “The FiLIP, however, is like a smartphone with training wheels. It provides the lifeline and peace of mind, without the concerns that would come with giving a child an actual smartphone. The FiLIP is a virtually flawless device that most parents will find invaluable.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2014/01/13/filip-is-the-smartphone-for-kids-too-young-to-have-a-smartphone/

FiLIP technology may be the first of its kind within the smartphone market, but as companies begin to notice its success, they too will join in on the simplistic smartphone locator. Kirkbak has changed the way parents communicate safely with their kids, and with the FiLIP device, simpler really is better.

4 Comments

  1. Kaitlin Alexander

    Great piece, Addison. This article immediately captured my attention because I am very interested in new technology. This new gadget did give me a good laugh. In my opinion, if you want a kid to be a kid, send them outside to play in the yard. Strapping a $200 device to a toddler seems a bit far fetched to me. I think the concept is creative but I cannot say I would buy the FiLIP for my own.

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  2. Courtney

    Ah, exactly the right product for terrible parents who want to feel a little less terrible.
    This way, parents who give one of these 4G enabled Disney-watches to their kids can look down on parents who give their kids an iPad, but still don’t have to actually do any parenting.
    This great little device eliminates the pesky need to teach the child how to responsibly use a cell phone, or instill a disciplined structure as to the usage of said device, or even crazier – actually be engaged enough to monitor and interact with the child.

    Nah, just send them off to daycare with one of these and visit them again around Christmas or birthday season.

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  3. Zachary Peelor

    This article was very well written and I can see how many parents would view this as a much needed weight off their shoulders. I myself am the oldest of four boys, so as much as my parents would hate me saying this, I’ve seen the panic they are faced with when briefly losing a child in a crowded area. The FiLIP is a big step up from the cell phones that could only dial a few numbers that parents would give to their children, due to the fact that they were so easy to lose, especially in the hands of a child. FiLIP is a simple and safe concept that I’m sure will catch on quickly with most parents, along with most smartphone companies.

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  4. Doug Killough

    I bet my parents would have loved to have this when I was a kid. The use of the tracking system is smart, and kids may like the look of the bright colors. It seems like a win-win. The limitations to Internet access are interesting as far as the concerns parents have for their children. New technology is always interesting to write about because it provides a look into what is to come. Overall, great blog, I enjoyed reading. It was well written and easy to follow!

    Reply

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