Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hey, kids! Want a smart watch? All right. Who said "house arrest ankle bracelet"?!?!

AT&T announced a new smart device that goes on the wrist today, but it’s not the Galaxy Gear. This is the Filip, a pseudo-smartwatch for kids that parents can use to keep tabs on their offspring with an unparalleled level of accuracy. This device acts as a phone, GPS tracker, and a panic button all in one somewhat awkward package.

The Filip plugs into an iOS or Android app that allows parents to set five trusted numbers that the watch can place calls to. The announcement glosses over the phone call functionality, but it appears to be entirely speakerphone-based. The app is also used to pull locations from the watch in real time, send direct SMS, and set up “Safe Zones.” A Safe Zone is basically a geo-fence that the watch is supposed to stay inside of. If it leaves the Safe Zone, an alert will be pushed to the smartphone app. This is truly helicopter parenting gone high-tech...

There are only two buttons on the Filip, one of which is a big red panic button. When it’s held for three seconds, the device will go into emergency mode and start ambient sound recording. It also sends text messages to all five trusted numbers and places a call to the first number in the list. False alarms will be quite the affair.

AT&T will be the exclusive network provider for the Filip, but no pricing has been announced. The closest thing to a release date is “in the coming months.” (more)