KD Interactive recently made the headlines with the debut of its latest child-friendly tablet, the Kurio 7x 4G LTE. The company is now taking on the smartphone market with the launch of the Kurio Phone. It's an Android smartphone designed solely for kids that incorporates enough parental controls and special features, the company claims, to allay any concerns parents might have about its use.
The Kurio smartphone is equipped with Ichaper Mobile Chaperone technology, which gives parents the ability to monitor and manage the phone's features and how kids use them. They'll be able to, for instance, specify time slots within which kids can use the phone through password-protected parental controls and even define different time slots for each day of the week. Parents can set up an approved list of contacts and block certain numbers or all other numbers, if they so desire.
There's no need to try to figure out who the child is chatting to, as the phone's text and call logs are made accessible. A parental web app enables even finer control, giving parents the ability to remotely alter settings on the child's smartphone either online or from their own device.
Parents can set up to four separate customizable profiles on the phone, and also use the device without any restrictions once they exit the Kurio interface. The app management system lets them select and approve apps from a master list, which then gets displayed on the child's profile screen. It's possible to control the child's browsing experience on the smartphone through the "Kurio Genius," a customizable web filtering system which filters 450 million sites daily. Parents can block certain categories or sites and relax these restrictions as the child grows older.
Parents can also keep tabs on where their children are at all times, thanks to GPS and geotracking technologies that regularly update the location of the kid's phone. If children leave the designated safety areas (that parents can pre-set), the phone immediately notifies parents of the fact via a geofencing feature.
In emergency situations, children will be able to reach emergency services in three clicks. The phone will also immediately notify parents, through SMS or email, about the phone's last known physical location. If kids happen to be in a dangerous situation where calling is not an option, they can press down on phone's power button repeatedly to send an SOS message to their parents, that also contains their location data. A person can also find information about the child's blood type, allergy information and their primary contact details through the ICE (In Case of Emergency) form, found on the phone.
“We have developed the Kurio Phone to operate and look just like an adult smartphone, but with safety features and usage limits to cover all eventualities," explains Tracey Devine, marketing and licensing director, KD UK.
In case the phone is stolen, parents can block it, sound an alarm, or erase the data and pictures on it remotely. The Kurio Phone can also inform parents if the SIM card is swapped, and sends alerts when its battery power is low.
While the price hasn't been fixed yet, a company spokesperson said that they expected the price to fall between US$165 and US$330. The phone is expected to be available at retail outlets as of this summer (Northern Hemisphere).