If you're not keen on giving your little tyke the latest and greatest in terms of smartphones, but still want them to be a call away, the VivoPlay could fit the bill. Evado Filip US, the company behind the device, is packing GPS, WiFi and a GSM connection into a wristwatch form factor, which it claims is the world's smallest communications and location device for helping families stay in touch. Parents can call the device and chat with kids and even give their rug rats the option to call up five pre-selected phone numbers. If a child were to wander away with the VivoPlay on their wrist, parents are alerted if they leave or enter a geofenced area and can pinpoint them on a map via a smartphone app. Were a youngster to find themselves in an emergency, they can hit a button that will ring up to five predefined numbers and report their location. The idea sure is a noble one, and the devices we saw looked more than child-friendly. Evado Filip reps told us that the device is being crafted with just that in mind, and the chunky rubber enclosing the communicator sure bears that out. The charger is enclosed for that reason as well, offering a decent bit of protection from the elements (and from childhood).
There's no word on pricing or availability, but we're told the outfit is working with carriers and that pre-orders will begin in Q2. Check out the neighboring gallery or hit the jump for the full press release.
VIVOPlay hands-onSee all photos
Edgar Alvarez and Ben Gilbert contributed to this report.
Evado Filip Introduces World's Smallest Communications and Location Device to Help Families Stay in Touch
VIVOplay Offers Benefits of Cell Phone Without the Concerns That Keep Parents from Buying Mobile Phones for Children
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Consumer Electronics Show, Eureka Park Booth #74309--Evado Filip™ today introduced what is believed to be the world's smallest commercially available communications and location device, specifically designed to keep children and parents in touch.1 The VIVOplay™ seamlessly combines two key elements not currently found in other mobile offerings for families – communications and safety – to keep families close in situations where existing location and communications technologies fail or are not appropriate.
Nearly 800,000 children go missing each year, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Justice. VIVOplay allows children to easily reach their parents when they need to and lets parents call their children and track their child's location in the event of an emergency with a simple, custom-designed smartphone app. Designed from a parent's perspective, VIVOplay delivers all the benefits of a cell phone while minimizing the concerns that keep parents from buying mobile phones for children ages 5-12 such as cyber bullying, sexting and texting charges.
VIVOplay marries GPS, WiFi and GSM technologies, offering seamless communication both indoors and out. The VIVOplay is water resistant and flexible enough to be worn as a wristwatch or fit into custom accessories to meet individual tastes and to keep it from getting lost.
Key VIVOplay Features
Keep in touch, easily and securely – The VIVOplay enables children to call up to five pre-selected phone numbers with the touch of a button and receive incoming calls and text messages from pre-approved people. Parents are able to control the device from a simple, custom-designed smartphone app.
Fast and accurate location – Combining all three location technologies (GPS, Wi-Fi and GSM) for improved accuracy, VIVOplay displays its location on the parent's smartphone app.
Safety zones – Using a simple custom-designed app available for both iPhone and Android smartphones, parents can set up rules for "safety zones" to alert them if their child enters or leaves designated locations by sending a notification to their smartphone.
Emergency button – VIVOplay features an emergency button that when pressed will call up to five pre-programmed numbers and alert them to the child's location. At the same time, the VIVOplay will begin recording audio and location information, which is then automatically saved.
Easy to find – According to a 2012 Harris survey, one of the top worries keeping parents from buying children mobile phones is their concern about the devices being lost and the cost of replacing them. With the VIVOplay Locator, parents can find a misplaced device with the push of a button.
"After a frightening personal experience where I briefly lost my young son, Filip, in a mall, I realized that a communications and location device for children was not a nice-to-have but a must-have," said Sten Kirkbak, founder and CEO of Evado Filip. "VIVOplay allows parents to be able to speak with and find their child with a simple, easy-to-use mobile device that has functionality appropriate for young children."
Pricing and Availability
Evado Filip is working with several global carriers to bring VIVOplay to market. The company will begin accepting pre-orders at evadofilip.com in Q2 2013.
About Evado Filip
Evado Filip is focused on developing hardware, software and services designed to keep families in touch. Its products combine the two most important elements in family mobile offerings – communications and safety. The company's flagship device, VIVOplay, is the smallest commercially available mobile communications and location device designed to help families keep in touch in situations where existing location and communications technology fail. Founded in 2010, Evado Filip is privately held with headquarters in London and U.S. offices in New York and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.evadofilip.com.
1 Based on internal battery and display with three different location technologies and the ability to call several phone numbers.