The HereO Child GPS Watch just surpassed it’s $100,000 funding goal on Indiegogo, completely selling out of its stash of $99 Early Bird Specials. The kid-sized GPS tracking watch will allow parents and care-givers to track location and movement of electronic tetherees from a smartphone, tablet, or home computer. Additional units are currently available at a $20 pre-order discount for $129, with only 10 days left in the HereO Watch funding campaign.
The water-resistant HereO Watch features a time-telling electronic paper display, a GSM/GPRS GPS Cell for location triangulation, a built-in sim card, a rechargeable battery, and an antennae seamlessly integrated right into the band. In addition, the watch has a built in accelerometer that can send an emergency alert to parents when shaken 5 times horizontally. In short, very basic features with a very specific intention … just the way we like it.
Battery life is estimated between 24 and 50 hours before needing a recharge. This could be an issue as the practicality of removing your toddler’s watch and making sure it finds its way to the charging dock may be untenable for some. In this case, the usefulness of such a device may be limited to the occasional family excursion where kid tracking provides an additional layer of safety and parental piece of mind. However, power supply has alway been the bane of new technology, generally requiring a little more effort than early adopters would like.
Another concern that needs to be considered when purchasing any child tracking device, is the affect that constant exposure to radiofrequency energy will have on your child’s health. The National Cancer Institute recently released a report stating that radiofrequency fields, such as those emitted by the HereO Watch, are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” In addition, the report finds that children may be more susceptible to developing cancer from exposure to such fields than adults. Although no definitive finding of increased cancer risk has yet been published, it is an issue that at least warrants consideration before strapping a radio transmitter to your child’s wrist.
The HereO Watch and corresponding kid tracking system is powered by the HereO Family app which is available for iOS now with an Android version currently in development. The HereO app can be downloaded from the iTunes store and is quite a useful family tracking/communication app already, even without the actual HereO Watch. The app can use your phone to track and share your location with family and friends, check in to predesignated points of interests, maintain and share movement and travel history, send messages, and issue a group wide panic alert. If you are considering a HereO Watch for your child, or have already subscribed to the funding campaign, we recommend that you download and demo the HereO Family app now as it is a nicely polished piece of code that will excite you about the HereO vision.
If the HereO Watch ships with the same quality and attention to detail already shown by the outstanding HereO Family app, it will surely be a “must have” device for Christmas 2014. It empowers the young and gives piece of mind to wary parents in a world fraught with undesirable influences. And, as battery technology continues to evolve, the integration of child tracking devices into our daily routine will become even more seamless and, thus, widespread. In the mean time, the HereO Watch just may be your best available option.
Jon is the Editor-In-Chief at Wear Guide and writes about wearable technology On Your Arm. Jon has a M.S. in Computer Science, won several intercollegiate events as a member of the UCLA Cycling Team, and is currently active on the USA Triathlon circuit which provides him the opportunity to field-test wearables under grueling conditions. Jon also writes for our sister publication Electric.guide.
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