Pundits are expecting that the US Christmas sensation will be a watch which allows parents to track their kids.
Dubbed the FiLIP, it is designed by a bloke whose son, Philip, went missing. The kid was later found at a mall without his parents’ permission and his dad wished he could have just tracked him.
The logic is that while a child will hate being electronically tagged like a cow and their every move controlled by their over-protective parents; they will be ok with wearing a high-tech fashion watch and phone.
Parents can program up to five numbers into the gadget, which kids can call with the touch of a button. Using the FiLIP app, parents and other preauthorised adults can track the child’s location, make calls, send texts and set “SafeZones.” Parents get an alert when a child leaves a safe zone.
All that can be done without allowing the child access to the internet, which is a terrible place full of perverts waiting to steal their precious snowflake and people of the opposite sex, who say they are friends but really want to break up the family unit.
That said they are the sort of watch a kid would want to wear and might be considered cool. It capitalises on all the marketing that Apple did for vapourware that it never released.
However, it is just a short step to providing the kid with an electric shock if they stray from a protected zone.
If a kid was ever snatched, it will be the first thing that an abductor would throw away anyway, so it is hardly going to give a parent any piece of mind in a serious attack. It is what it says on the tin, a way of controlling your child’s movements and reward parental behaviour that a latchkey kid like me is never going to understand.