New smartphone for kids to call home set to launch

New smartphone for kids to call home set to launch

A simple wristworn GPS-tracker for kids to call home, called Filip, will be launched on Nov 22 in the United States.

Priced at US$199 (S$250) along with a US$10 monthly service plan, the Filip looks just like a watch but it is actually a GPS tracker and limited-use smartphone geared for parents with young children.

Debuted at this year's CES in Las Vegas, the Filip can be programmed with up to five different phone numbers that a child can call by pressing a single button and it can also be configured, via a smartphone app, to receive incoming calls and text messages from a list of parental-approved contacts.

Combining GPS, WiFi and GSM technologies, the Filip also gives parents the precise location of their child at any given time.

Available in a range of colours, it is also water-resistant. Although some parents may find the idea of essentially tagging their children more than a little uncomfortable, the device does offer a valid alternative to giving a child, particularly one younger than 12, their own mobile phone - a decision that comes with its own potential concerns such as cyberbullying, unsolicited approaches or, more commonly, huge monthly bills.

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