Innovation That Matters

Wearable smartphone designed for very young children


A new smartphone watch aims to keep children safe with a host of security-minded features

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We have already seen a variety of new innovations aimed at young children, such as an augmented reality teddy bear that doubles as an educational tool, and smart building blocks that create animation on tablets. Now, Singapore tech company Oaxis is banking on parents wanting to stay constantly updated on their children’s whereabouts, with a new smartwatch designed for young children. The myFirst Fone is a compact 3G smartphone that is worn like a watch and has built-in security features. Wearers can make and receive voice and video calls, just like a regular phone, but calls and messages can only be sent to and from pre-approved contacts, and all data is encrypted. The phone lacks a keyboard, but can receive texts, and children can reply using emojis and voice memos.

Using a smartphone app designed for the watch, parents can remotely track their children’s movements and set the watch to notify them if their child moves outside a pre-set geofenced area. Parents can also remotely access the watch’s microphone to listen in on their child. Children can send an SOS with one touch, and can pair up with other nearby myFirst Fones by giving their wrist a shake. Other features include a fitness tracker and an animated character that can entertain the child. The watch is splash-proof, and can run for up to 60 hours on one charge.

The myFirst Fone is currently going through a round of crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and hopes to begin shipping in March 2018. The watch is expected to eventually retail for USD 159. Will a smartphone designed for very young children catch on?




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