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.
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.
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.”
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.