Part of being a kid is playing outside and exploring, so it's impossible to keep an eye on your children at all times. With this in mind, GPS tracking for kids has become increasingly popular. The hereO watch is the latest GPS tracking device aimed at providing parents with peace of mind.
The hereO is by no means the first GPS watch for kids. Gizmag featured the FiLIP smartwatch last year, before that there was the Nu.M8, and way back in 2002 there was the Wherify Wireless. The FiLIP device has a pretty nifty voice call feature that allows parents to call their kids, but the hereO has some clever features of its own.
The device pairs with a smartphone or tablet app that shows where a child is at any given moment. It focuses very much on family though, and will also show where other family members are by connecting with the apps on their devices. Apps will be made available for iOS and Android first, followed by Windows Phone and Blackberry in late 2014.
One particularly useful piece of functionality is the ability for parents to draw a "virtual fence" around specific areas, such as gardens or a school, using the map in the hereO app. A notification will then be sent if the child moves outside one of the predetermined areas.
Messages can be broadcast to other family members from within the app, and the watch uses an accelerometer to send an alert when it is shaken horizontally five times. The time is presented digitally using an e-ink display, and the watch is designed to be hardwearing and waterproof. hereO says its battery will provide 50 hours of usage between charges.
In order to deliver this functionality, the watch incorporates a SIM card and is sold with a monthly mobile contract for machine-to-machine provider Wyless. The SIM will apparently work in over 120 countries without roaming charges.
Nearly US$27,000 of a $100,000 goal has been raised in an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for the hereO watch, with 37 days remaining. hereO says that the funds are earmarked for a full production run, but that if the goal isn't met, it will still be able to meet orders that are placed. The first run of watches has already been produced.
The hereO watch will retail for US$149 with a 3-month contract included – a $4.95 monthly charge takes effect thereafter. Earlybird pledges on Indiegogo can receive the watch for $99 with a 6-month contract included, assuming the campaign is successful. It is expected to begin shipping in July.
The video below provides an introduction to the hereO watch.