Kids Will Fall In Love With This Tech Item (And Parents Will Love It Too!)

At what age should your kids have a smartphone?

This is a question that is sure to divide households. On one hand, there is no better way to keep track of your children’s whereabouts if they, say, run off to play in the park or visit their friends’ house. You can give them a call and let them know they should be on their way home for dinner, and if there is a problem they have a direct line straight to you. On the other hand, giving your child a tool that can connect them with anyone and anything is dangerous. Who knows what your children might be doing with their camera; who knows what they might be looking at online; who knows who they might be talking to over the phone.

It’s a dilemma that parents have been facing for over a decade now. It’s one that phone companies like Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have yet to deal with either. In fact, one might argue that they have actively encouraged children to want their products as they’re packed with colourful, whimsical apps for kids to engage in. However, the solution may have finally arrived in the form of Filip – a smartphone for kids that parents will love too.

What Is Filip?

After Sten Kirkbak, former CEO of the branding agency Black Moose in Norway, realised his son had gone missing and could not find him for half an hour, he came up with the concept of Filip. It’s a beautifully designed, basic smartphone that can be worn on the wrist by children like a bracelet and comes in a variety of different colours — pink, red, green or blue. It can perform a few basic features like text messaging, making calls and receiving calls. There is no internet and no app store for games.

Parents can manage Filip through an app on their iPhone or Android smartphone that syncs up with the Filip. This allows them to choose what numbers are stored in the phone. It even means parents can track the location of its user in case of an emergency or set up a Safe Zone (like their school, garden, or park) which will alert them when their child has moved outside of it.

Filip comes with a large red button on the side which activates an emergency mode when held down for 3 seconds or more. When you child presses this, it immediately calls the primary contact (which can be set up in the app). If this contact are unable to respond, Filip will proceed to call every other number stored in the device until someone answers.

Filip is now available to buy through AT&T in America but its team hope to expand to other territories in the near future.

The Answer To Every Parent’s Smartphone Problems?

kids-smartphonesWhether Filip in its current form is the answer to troubled parents’ prayers is yet to be seen. There are undoubtedly failures with the bracelet smartphone by design. Taking away the fun games, internet access and a nice camera to snap some pictures on, the Filip is unlikely to please children who have their hearts set on an iPhone. What’s more: it’s not the most user-friendly of smartphones. Some parents have cited problems with the bracelet falling off because it’s so big; others have said the weight is causing discomfort to their kids.

However, what few will disagree on is how great the very concept of FILIP is. Parents will surely welcome the idea that someone is attempting to resolve the issue of children and smartphones — the dichotomy between keeping your children in touch and giving them such a complex and potentially dangerous piece of technology. Let’s hope that in the years to come, FILIP develops into exactly the kind of tool parents are in need of.

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