back to article Vodafone emits new wearable ... kid-trackers

The best thing in two new consumer wearables Vodafone launched today is not mentioned by the firm itself: each does away with the need for a smartphone. The two wearables – a band and a watch – extend Voda's range of consumer services, "enabling parents to stay in contact with their child when they start to give them more …

  1. Neil 32
    Big Brother

    Life imitating art?

    Why do I instantly find my mind turning to the South Park movie and the v-chip Cartman got fitted with!

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Life imitating art?

      More creepy than that: Black Mirror Arkangel (S4 E2).

  2. Ralph the Wonder Llama

    "The latter claims to alert you when you've been in a serious collision"

    That'll be handy if and when you emerge from your coma.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: "The latter claims to alert you when you've been in a serious collision"

      So long as they don't sell the data to compensation spammers - "hello, we believe you've just had an accident …"

  3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    The best thing two new consumer wearables Vodafone launched today is not mentioned by the firm itself: each does away with the need for a smartphone.

    That's not a sentence! must try harder!

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      It's only missing two words, so it's still 92% correct.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Ye Gods!

    Every time I think this stuff can't get worse something like this comes along to prove me wrong.

    Talk about a false sense of security. Kids aren't dumb - if they want to get up to no good, they'll simply take the thing off, or swap it with a friend. At the same time I've no doubt these have the usual absence of security, so the kid is now being advertised as not with his/her parents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ye Gods!

      I don't think it would be aimed at kids who are at an age or temperament that they get up to no good, it would be aimed at kids that are still young enough to not want to go missing. Therefore they would feel happy about wearing it and might get some extra freedoms like being able to walk home on their own from school or with friends without their parent having a nervous breakdown.

      It would also mean that a phone does not to be purchased for the child at an age where the parent would prefer them not to be glued to a smartphone but would like the convenience of being able to be contacted if they are needed.

      I could see the use case for my 8 yo daughter but it would not be something for my 13 yo son!

  5. Douchus McBagg

    but think of the children!

    while paying us a monthly subscription...

    otherwise you are a bad parent! BAD PARENT! NO COOKIE! HAVE YOUR KIDS TAKEN AWAY INTO SOCIAL SERVICES! unless you pay £30 a month per device with a £17 connection fee.

    honestly. there is so much crap out there purely marketed at parents, making them even more stressed out and to near border line have a mental breakdown from, "are they doing the right thing?" - and then this shows up. nice one world, well done.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: but think of the children!

      Agreed, and it seems due to all the bullshit many young parents nowadays are completely incapable of actually doing parenting. The basics aren't hard, but "calm, order and regularity" are somehow concepts foreign to many parents I see around.

  6. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    not yet....

    Ive been waiting for cat tracking / camera devices to get smaller and cheaper.

    This VPet thing dosent seem to be there.

    £55 , +4pm sub - well ok

    Its still big :(

    The map on the smartphone seems to only narrow the location down to a circle about a mile wide!

    Source - their site and a their ad on utube

    1. G_Man

      Re: not yet....

      I got a Tractive device that's about the size of a Zippo lighter for my dog. My dog's an escape artist and the device has let me pinpoint and retrieve her on several occasions. On open ground it's accurate within ~2m, but struggles in woodland. It still gives you a starting point as will show you the last point it emitted a signal. It's also completely waterproof and has been submerged by a couple on inches for up to an hour with no issues. Slightly smaller than the vodafone/Kippy device too.

  7. H in The Hague Silver badge

    Lone worker tracker

    As it happens I've been looking for an Android lone worker/person down app. I do some conservation volunteering, sometimes in remote areas, and it would be handy if the team leader or Mrs H could check my location if I go AWOL. Unfortunately the affordable apps I've found look rather dodgy or ineffective, and the ones that might work only come as part of an expensive corporate package. So a dedicated pet or kid tracker might be a better option (albeit without the person down function). And more convenient in terms of privacy as I'll only switch it on and carry it with me when needed.

    Does anyone know of a good Android lone worker/person down app? Or general tracking app? Happy to pay for it but don't want ads.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Lone worker tracker

      google find my device is standard on most androids, if you are OK with Google slurping data, that is an option with zero hassle

      Though does need 3rd party to have your username / password to log on to the android find website .. so maybe use a throwaway account for that

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: Lone worker tracker

        Thanks - that's a beautifully simple solution. Have 'Find my device' turned off on my main phone, but happy to turn it on on a back-up phone. Now Mrs H will know where to look for me in the woods when I don't return home in time :)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once Upon A Time....

    ....the courts insisted on electronic bracelets be worn by criminals on parole so that they could be tracked.


    ....and now we have Vodaphone asking NON-CRIMINALS to PAY GOOD MONEY for the same service.


    Am I mad....or is the world going mad....or both?

  9. derfer

    How can I hide this story?

    If the missus sees it I'll be wearing a V-Pet by the end of the week!

  10. Elmer Phud

    Are kids that stuipid?

    Kids will swap devices, find ways of signal-blocking (like taking it off) etc.

    Parents forget they were kids once.

    Companies never forget there are mugs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are kids that stuipid?

      As the parent of an autistic child who would have to be wrestled to the ground kicking and screaming to have his backpack removed when outside of the house and couldn't talk to someone if he somehow got seperated from us, I can see some use for things like this. However that's an edge case.

  11. Cuddles Silver badge

    Hooray for IoT!

    As with all IoTat, I have no doubt security is a high priority and there can be absolutely no possibility this will allow random people to spy on your children 24/7.

  12. Velv

    "battery that provides three days' power"

    And this for me is where the major problem with these devices remains. Until there is something that can last a month+ then the usefulness is limited. Ethics? we'r all tracked by our phones today, we just can't access the data (unless you have the iCloud password).

    1. krs360

      Yes you can!

      You can also share your location. My wife and I both share location with each other.

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