“When I was a boy” – well, things were different. We’d be at the park, or roaming the neighbourhood mucking around. These days you don’t see that as much with younger kids because parents are worried about the “dangers” that exist and the things that might happen. I saw at CES a great “smartwatch” designed to track and contact your kids, and next week at CeBit in Sydney an Aussie team will showcase their concept called SafeTcom.
The idea is simple, give your child a “phone” so they can call you if they need to. But with even the “dumbest” of phones you can’t really restrict them much so goodness knows what they might use it for. The SafeTcom is a small device with the basic capabilities of a phone, just restricted.
Your child can use the device to call one of two numbers defined by the parent – so one button for mum and one for dad perhaps. That’s great for allowing your child to reach you when they are out.
What about setting “safe boundaries”? The SafeTcom app allows you to set zones on a map which are “ok” zones for the child to be within, because the SafeTcom has built-in GPS and that mobile connectivity means the GPS data can be shared back to your app – if they walk outside the zone you will get an alert on your phone.
Want to know what they are up to? Give them a call! or – switch on the monitoring. SafeTcom claims to be the first wearable device of its type with built-in HD video and audio streaming, so as a parent you can open the app and not just see on a map where the child is, but also see through the lens what they are up to.
The kit also appears to contain a wrist band and shoe tag which we can only assume from what we’ve read about SafeTcom – are used to ensure the device stays on your child. If they put the SafeTcom down and run around the park the SafeTcom will “phone home” to say they’ve been separated from the device.
Sounds like a whole lot of big brother going on here – and while the Video is a cool feature, that does feel like a bridge too far in terms of tracking. We’ll wait and see – there is no pricing or availability yet announced, however the team’s first prototype is now in the country and will be on-show at CeBIT Australia which is being held at Sydney Olympic Park from Monday 5th May to Wednesday 7th May 2014.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.