Anyone who’s read enough on the basics of GPS tracking can get a pretty good idea of its uses—among the many, the ability to track lost individuals (pets or human). Wouldn’t parents love to have that technology at their fingertips for their children. However, the cost for that kind of equipment, i.e. a smartphone with the appropriate app for GPS tracking, goes into the hundreds of dollars, and an electronically monitored pet collar like Tagg is not an option on kids (besides, it’s unfashionable). As of summer 2013, that won’t be a problem.
The Vivoplay press release says the device is the smallest mass-produced one of its kind in the world and is both GPS tracked and communications-ready (GSM)—it even comes with WiFi. The equipment comes in the form of either wristwatch or clip-on gadget, heavy-duty (including water resistant) enough for even rough-playing kids between ages 5 and 12, and allows children to not only be GPS tracked everywhere they go but also to remain in constant audio and text contact with parents (or previously okayed people) wherever, whenever they wish. All the functions of the Vivoplay are controlled and monitored by a customized app on the parent’s smartphone.
So if I purchase this device for my child?
The Vivoplay doesn’t have all the full-fledge functions or concerns that come with a child’s owning a smartphone: high cost of replacement if lost or broken, possibility of being stalked or bullied by individuals online, etc. The device can be programmed with up to 5 parent-approved emergency contact numbers and allows the child to receive calls or texts from them but doesn’t permit outgoing, minimizing the aforementioned concerns. However, in case of emergency, the Vivoplay has a panic button that, when pressed, automatically sends immediate calls to every phone number on the contact list, updating those people with the child’s current location, and begins to record and save all of the child’s sound and position information. Parents will be able to see and hear what is going on with their child. If the device itself is lost, parents can press a button to find that too. As with the Tagg Pet Tracker, parents can pre-set a boundary for their kids and will be alerted through the GPS tracking app if the Vivoplay device (and their child) has wandered out of it.