by Samuel Gibbs
LG has unveiled a new tracking device for children that allows parents to locate them in real time using a smartphone or tablet app.
The KizON wristband uses GPS and Wi-Fi to pinpoint the child’s location, continually reporting back to the parent over a 2G or 3G mobile internet connection and allowing parents to call the wristband, which will automatically answer.
“Children as well as the elderly are ideal customers for wearable technologies,” said Dr Jong-seok Park, chief executive of LG Electronics mobile. “Wearables allow us to stay connected without the worry of losing a device or the inconvenience of having to carry a large item in a pocket.”
The band straps to the the child’s wrist like a large, bulky watch and has one button on the top that instantly calls a pre-set number allowing the child to contact its parents in an emergency.
A day’s battery life, so yet another thing to charge
The KizON has a rated 36 hours battery life, requiring a charge each night, but will automatically alert a parent or guardian when the battery falls below 25%.
The locator is made of blue, pink or green plastic, is water and stain resistant and has a range of accessories including animated characters to personalise the band and keep the children interested, despite its large size.
LG is not the first company to create this kind of kid-tracking band. British company KMS developed a very similar device for tracking children and the infirm last year, which was on show at the CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas in January.
Tracking devices for children have split opinion. Some parents seeing it as a great way of keeping tabs on their kids while giving them more freedom to roam, knowing they will be able to pinpoint their location at any time.
Others have seen it as part of a dystopian future, where a child’s every move is tracked, judged and tagged like a convicted criminal released back into society.
LG’s KizON will be available in South Korea in July with the US and Europe, including the UK, seeing a later third-quarter release for a to-be-announced cost.