October 10, 2004 First shown in June 2002 as a concept device born of collaboration between Toyota, DDI Pocket and Kyocera, the latest model PiPit mobile phone went on sale in Japan this month. The phone is essentially a personal safety device, and with just three destination keys is designed to immediately contact authorities or family at the touch of a button when needed. For these reasons it is likely to gain a substantial market as a device for women, children and the elderly for its simple operation. It also has the added benefit for parents of maintaining easy contact with their children without having to worry about the bill they're running up.
Like the original model, the PiPit covers the three key features of family, safety and security but also has some new features for added personal security. This includes a built-in security buzzer that is activated with a simple operation and a call function that automatically makes an emergency call if the buzzer is activated. If a PiPit Call attempt is unsuccessful because the destination terminal is outside the service area, engaged or powered off, it will make a PiPit Call to the next preset destination (up to three) as well as another call attempt to the destination of the failed attempt.
Improving upon the original, the new model has continued support for the Kokodayo Navi location information service within Japan. This service enables transmission of a map with the user's position in reply to access from the parent unit or mobile phone. This service can be used as a rough guide to the current location of a child or elderly user. The service is a free optional feature.
Newly equipped with ten keys for message creation and email send/receive support, the new PiPit Phone meets the needs of business users. However, on the assumption that parents may be concerned about their children's excessive use of email, it is possible to limit the use of email by restricting the email function.
The new PiPit measures 47 x 121 x 18.3mm and weighs 89 grams, with eight hours continuous talk time and 700 hours stand-by time. While the manufacturer focuses on the PiPit's safety features we believe most parents will be interested in limiting usage by talkative children whilst still keeping tabs on their whereabouts.