Print 14 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Oct 10 at 1:44 PM

It allows for voice calling, direct messaging and location services

AT&T is helping parents keep tabs on their kids through a new wearable that acts as a tracking device.

AT&T said it partnered with Filip Technologies to bring the device -- called FiLIP -- to AT&T customers. The carrier also said it will be the exclusive network provider for FiLIP. 

FiLIP is a wearable device that allows parents to keep an eye on their kids through the touch of a smartphone. Through the app, a parent can call, direct message or see the location of their child wearing the device. 

“FiLIP is exactly the type of device for which we formed the Emerging Devices team at AT&T.  Filip Technologies is taking wearable device innovation in a new direction – going beyond the smart watch to solve a real problem for parents and make their lives easier,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Emerging Devices, AT&T Mobility.

Parents have full power through features like choosing five other trusted contacts in which the child can communicate with using FiLIP, and setting Safe Zones where parents will receive a notification if their child enters or leaves a designated area. If anything goes wrong, there's an emergency procedure to locate a child and put them in touch with their family.

Wearables are said to be the next big thing in tech, as companies like Apple and Microsoft prepare offerings featuring their respective operating systems. In fact, Samsung was first to the market with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch. But it remains to be seen whether children will want to wear FiLIP if it's just a communication device between them and their parents (however, it does come in four colors and looks like a regular watch). 

Source: AT&T

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By DanNeely on 10/8/2013 9:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
If you want to keep your kids on a virtual leash just get them the smartphones they want and pay for the carrier offered big-brotherware tower based tracking system so they can't uninstall the app you put on it. They'll be far less likely to "accidentally" forget their phone when up to something you'd disapprove of than an idiotic looking watch.

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By Stuka on 10/8/2013 10:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
It is probably a good idea, but I too question it's relevence.

First, I imagine it's not cheap. Probably $200, or free plus 2yr of extra service. So your child who keeps losing his left sock is somehow gonna keep ahold of his smartwatch. lol

Second, any reasonable kidnapper will remove this obnoxiously obvious device before putting the kid in his/her car.

The GPS devices sewn into their jacket, backpack, etc. would be much better... That coupled with raising your child not to be a freaking douche and do as you say would do wonders.

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By Dr of crap on 10/8/2013 10:40:04 AM , Rating: 1
There's no tech to replace parenting, yet NO ONE wants to parent, and parent "good" anymore!
The down fall of our society!

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By boeush on 10/8/2013 2:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
First, I imagine it's not cheap. Probably $200, or free plus 2yr of extra service.
Compared to other costs of raising kids, $100 per year isn't really all that terrible.
So your child who keeps losing his left sock is somehow gonna keep ahold of his smartwatch.
It stays on the wrist -- not exactly hard to "keep a hold of". And if it's ever 'lost', the built-in location service makes it rather easy to find again.
any reasonable kidnapper
As if kidnappers are the main target of this device. Kids get lost, sometimes. Or they might get in trouble and need help. Or maybe you don't really want to equip your kindergartner with a full-blown cell phone, but still want that ability to get in touch when necessary. And guess what, not having this device in the first place, doesn't make it any harder for kidnappers.

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By Souka on 10/8/2013 4:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
make it an ankle monitor....the type you can't take off without setting an alarm...and I'll buy

Optional is a 40k volt stun-gun built in to prevent tampering....

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By inighthawki on 10/8/2013 6:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
While we're at it since it's too hard to parent, we can just sign some laws into effect to make it illegal to take a monitoring device off of a minor. It's far too scary of a world out there.

What if Billy said he's going to his friends house, but actually end up at this other friends house!

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/10/2013 1:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
What if Billy said he's going to his friends house, but actually end up at this other friends house!

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By FaaR on 10/8/2013 8:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
The "watch" (is it a watch, really?) stays on the wrist, yes - unless the child takes it off. It looks easy to take off, and frankly, uncomfortable and/or unwieldy to wear, easily snagging on clothing or other items like toys or furniture. Possibly heavy too (for a small child). I expect a not insignificant percentage of these devices once in the wild to regularly pop off the wrists of their wearers and risk ending up forgotten somewhere... At least with built-in GPS, you could locate the device after your kid has forgotten it somewhere. Hooray, what a success for modern technology! We make things to forget, which we can then re-locate again... Booooooo! :P

Also, while you may be able to "get in touch" with your kid with this is that accomplished? It isn't a phone it would seem, so are you gonna send friggin texts to a six-year-old? Can your kid read them...? How will the child respond, with a teensy-tiny touchscreen keyboard or what? Looks terribly fiddly. This is a weird, wonky device. Probably won't be a very big hit (to put it mildly.)

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By boeush on 10/8/2013 9:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
frankly, uncomfortable and/or unwieldy to wear
That might be, or it might not. We don't know enough to judge at this point. Yes, comfort and weight would be key considerations (also water-resistance and hardening against grime and impacts/scrapes, obviously.)
It isn't a phone it would seem...
Quoting from the article above:
Through the app, a parent can call , direct message or see the location of their child wearing the device.
Seems like it is a phone, actually.
How will the child respond
by speaking back, probably? Or if the call falls through, or a communication need arises in the reverse direction, then presumably, a child could push a button to initiate a call to a parent (or one of the other pre-selected contacts on a menu/list).

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By boeush on 10/8/2013 2:45:20 PM , Rating: 1
Do you have kids? If not, just try to pretend.

Picture in your mind the situation where you and your kids are at some giant amusement park filled with throngs of people. Your kids want a free run of the park without you dragging along, and/or they all want to simultaneously do different things at different places.

Your options as a kid: be tied down to your parents, or wear this 'watch' thingamabob and you're free to roam to your heart's content.

When it's time to reassemble the family for lunch, the parental unit sends out a remote summons to all the munchkins, and they all converge toward the proper location at the appropriate time. By contrast, the traditional way of doing things is to pre-plan the time and place of meet-up, only for the parents to wait there helplessly as the hapless offspring forgets to check the time or even altogether forgets about the entire appointment (don't tell me: that's never happened to you before, right?)

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By DanNeely on 10/8/2013 4:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
No kids of my own; but apparently when growing up my siblings and I were more responsible than you're giving us credit for.

These days texting/calling/etc the phone that's apparently been surgically embedded in your kids hand seems like it'd make this contraption totally pointless.

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By MrBlastman on 10/8/2013 4:45:02 PM , Rating: 3
Kids do not need smartphones. There is zero reason for them to have one. They should be in school... learning. Or at home... studying. Or with friends... playing.

Texting is irrelevant and builds poor grammar skills so it fails to be an excuse for having one of those devices. If they need to get in touch with someone, they have phones at the house to call their friends on... phones that can be monitored by the parents.

About the only reason they might have one is for when they start driving in case of emergency. In those cases... well, that's what a pre-paid cellphone is for. Limited minutes and limited use.

My kids will hate me when they get older but that is okay. I'm their parent first, not their friend first.

RE: Seriously?!?!?
By ClockerXP on 10/9/2013 9:18:07 AM , Rating: 2

Perfect Name
By jt63 on 10/8/2013 10:26:10 AM , Rating: 2
Philip was a Mike Myers character on SNL. A rather hyperactive one at that:

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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