back to article Find My Kids app is basically AirTags for your offspring

There comes a time when every parent will glance up from their mobile device or busy work schedule and take a moment to ask: "Where are my kids?" Well, as the hackneyed marketing slogan goes, there's an app for that. It's called Find My Kids, and this week it announced a new collaboration with Apple Watch. It claims to be the …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Marketing Genius!

    I wonder how long it will take the Apple Law Team to bust down the front door and ask for their cut...

    Icon for effect!

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      "built-in pedometer"

      So, it'll tell me how far Rolf Harris or Gary Glitter is from my kids?

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: "built-in pedometer"

        That's funny, but:

        "In order to motivate children to do some physical activity, the app for Apple Watch has a gamified Pedometer which encourages children to walk more throughout the day,"

        I was a child once.*

        Getting children to do physical activity is as simple as letting them go outside and do what they do with (for example) trees and streets and bicycles and cricket bats and lawns etc.

        No spy devices required.

        -A.

        *Lots of people will insist that I still am.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: "built-in pedometer"

          "Getting children to do physical activity is as simple as letting them go outside and do what they do with (for example) trees and streets and bicycles and cricket bats and lawns etc."

          When I was a kid, if I wanted to stay inside, chores would be found. That's in addition to the chores I already had so I opted to let my folks know where I was going and head off to a friend's house or they'd meet at my house and we go do something. No staying in and watching TV. On inclement days we could stay in (after chores were done) and play with Legos, Mechano or read. It's no wonder I still have a work ethic and went into engineering. I expect that my dad wouldn't be one to provide (or even allow) me to have an xBox, mobile or a computer in my room if I was a kid now. He was big on being hands on and always learning.

    2. Snake Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Marketing Genius!

      More in-line with your title, I wonder how long it will take the Apple advertising system to start feeding the parents ads for child-centric products based upon your child's location history. Pass a candy shop, get an ad promoting said shop, McDonald's, etc etc etc.

  2. cookieMonster Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I was going to write something snarky about Russian spyware, but decided not to

  3. TimMaher Silver badge
    Devil

    But still

    Your little six year old can take a 9mm to school.

    1. Outski

      Re: But still

      A ban on unaccompanied minors carrying guns has just been defeated in the Missouri state senate.

      Words fail me

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: But still

        Americans do seem to be very afraid of each other for some reason. I've been there and didn't feel the need to go armed, even in the really Third-World bits.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But still

          What puzzled me is that given there is a "right to bear arms", I couldn't buy a pair of bear arms anywhere and I really wanted to immerse myself in the bear arms culture. Guns though, they're everywhere...which is probably why there aren't enough bears left to harvest arms from.

          1. Casca Silver badge

            Re: But still

            No, no. Its the right to arm bears. Which isnt much better.

            1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

              Re: But still

              >>No, no. Its the right to arm bears

              Armed bears will be even more scary than normal unarmed bears given the amount do damage bear arms can do (in conjunction with bear shoulders and bear chests) without arming the bears anyway

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: But still

                Not really, given that bears have had their arms removed in the name of the Constitution for many decades, arming the bears is the only fair thing to do.

                I would t be afraid of an armless armed bear.

                As long as there are procedures in place to disarm a de-armed bear.

                The only struggl I foresee is defining what arms are and keeping a debate on track regarding to which arms a given person is referring.

                Person A: So the bear was unarmed.

                Person B: Correct, but he had a gun right?

                Person A: No. He had no arms.

                Person B: So the bear was armed yet unarmed?

                Person A: Correct.

                Person B: Ok so he had a gun.

                Person A: No, let me start again.

            2. disgruntled yank

              Re: But still

              @Casca

              Been reading Philip Pullman, have you?

          2. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: But still

            I'm a jeans and T-shirt slob. I have bare arms pretty much all the time.

            -A.

          3. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: But still

            Well, I can't bear arms. Totally unbearable.

            -A.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: But still

        A ban on unaccompanied minors carrying guns has just been defeated in the Missouri state senate.

        The "Shoot-Me State".

        Really, there are plenty of people in the US who don't feel it's necessary to tote guns everywhere. Some of us don't even have guns.

        Though to be honest we've discussed getting one. The Mountain Fastness is semi-rural. There are skunks about, and they're a pretty common rabies vector. There are feral dogs, which are as well. There's a decent chance of a car hitting and mortally wounding a deer or even a horse, which would then need to be put down. It could take a couple of hours for Animal Control to get out here if we had an animal situation along those lines, which is not ideal.

        There are occasionally bears, too, but trying to shoot a bear would be very much a desperation move to try to save someone in imminent danger, so quite improbable.

        But if we ever did, it would be locked in a gun safe and would not leave the premises except for practice at a range. I don't buy the "self-protection" fantasy for a minute.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But still

          Don't even consider it dude. Just owning a gun and having it under your roof increases your odds of being shot to such ridiculous levels that you aren't actually making yourself safer. You're probably putting yourself at risk.

          In the US you already have a 1 in 315 chance of being shot by another American, in general. If you own a gun, that probably rises considerably. I would imagine that being in a semi-rural area, your current odds of being shot are significantly lower than that 1 in 315 chance, but if you own a gun, you probably increase those odds considerably not just for you either, for everyone around you...your family, your neighbours etc.

          Also, if you lock your gun in a gun safe and only take it out for shooting at ranges, what are the odds that you will be armed to put down a mortally wounded animal if you "need to"? You'll have to go home, get the gun, get back, load it etc etc, that might be an hours drive each way...what's the guarantee that you can be faster than animal control?

          Think about that before thinking about a gun. If you want animal control services to be quicker, invest your "gun money" into a local animal control charity to help them be able to fund themselves to respond more quickly.

  4. Serif

    Find my kid's watch

    At least you'll be able to track the watch after your child has been mugged for it.

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr

      Re: Find my kid's watch

      or at least until the perp does a factory reset or wraps it in tinfoil

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: Find my kid's watch

      It won't take long for the kid to work out that they can take the watch off either, so the parent might check and see that their little angel is indeed still at home, whilst he's really in the park with his friends drinking cider.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Find my kid's watch

        I guess the "collaboration with apple" might include tamper proof ankle-tag style mods.

        Actually dont those things check your heart rate n' stuff?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Find my kid's watch

          "collaboration with apple" = "drinking cider in the park"

      2. Ideasource Bronze badge

        Re: Find my kid's watch

        A smart confident child would make it a point to leave this thing on the bus or and other vehicles, take the temporary punishment associated, and so disrupt the association in their parents mind between watch tracking, and child tracking.

        If the parent no longer receives the emotional benefit, the justification for purchase and service fees dissolves.

        The only real opportunity a child has to develop is during unsupervised times.

        Everything's supervised and structured is an empty placation show for the unmanaged emotions of adults to starve off fits of adult tantrums. An exercise in self oppression and apathy unto self, as A desperate attempt for peace with emotionally unstable adults known to tantrum and Target their own children during those tantrums.

        Heavily managed children, take much longer to develop into conscious autonomous successfully divergent beings.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Find my kid's watch

          Yup. This is just expensive dangerism. Inventing problems so you can sell solutions to them.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Find my kid's watch

          "Everything's supervised and structured is an empty placation show for the unmanaged emotions of adults to starve off fits of adult tantrums. "

          Not entirely. A good balance between structured and un-structured time is a good thing. I had chores but could run off and play with my friends when my chores were done. My friends and I would do things such as rattlesnake hunting so not exactly the sort of thing a parent might approve of doing in advance. I still leaned that one needs to take risks but also take responsibility for things. My dad lived in the country so there were dogs, chickens, horses, cats, and for a while, a bunny to take care of. There were always things needing to be done on the property as well. Processing trees into firewood was a task that was taken like eating an elephant, a spoonful at a time.

          1. Ideasource Bronze badge

            Re: Find my kid's watch

            The chores to be done were intuitively understandable to be useful and tied to obvious physical realities.

            That's how it ought to be.

            I was referring more to structure for the sake of structure instead of structure as an accessory to obvious utility.

            I grew up in country life. Then completed adolescence in the city.

            Country Life is definitely healthier for developing humans . Gives them a grounding in physical reality that lends perspective in times of social turmoil.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Find my kid's watch

      "At least you'll be able to track the watch after your child has been mugged for it."

      I had to give up watches as when I was young, digital watches were either crap or expensive. An analog watch doesn't survive long on the wrist of somebody that plays drums. At least not the quality of watch that I could afford. I have a hard time expecting that any electronic watch is going to have much of a life on the wrist of a child if they are active. Obese video game addict kids don't really need tracking. I'm not sure if there's any value in stealing a connected watch these days, but most criminals aren't too bright.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Find My Dog! ... And The Dog's Personal iPhone Does Not Need To Be Switched On........

    Yup........if you are paranoid about Fido's whereabouts....we have a $500 (...or was that $1000) solution for you.....

    ....next up.....something really small that you can use to track your parrot...........

    1. xyz Silver badge

      Re: Find My Dog! ... And The Dog's Personal iPhone Does Not Need To Be Switched On........

      Yup there's an ad on Tv for that just now. It's just a gps tag and an app so I suppose you can wrap the tag around the brat's neck instead of the dog's. No IWatch needed.

      1. Nifty

        Re: Find My Dog! ... And The Dog's Personal iPhone Does Not Need To Be Switched On........

        My neighbours have been commenting about all my kids wearing dog collars. I've told them it isn't that the kids are trainee vicars.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Find My Dog! ... And The Dog's Personal iPhone Does Not Need To Be Switched On........

      Something to track my cat that doesent require an iphone , or a subscription , would be pretty cool.

      The android airtag parodys dont seem to be up to much

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Find My Dog! ... And The Dog's Personal iPhone Does Not Need To Be Switched On........

        "Something to track my cat that doesent require an iphone"

        Search for War Kitteh and denial of service dog on YouTube.

    3. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Find My Dog! ... And The Dog's Personal iPhone Does Not Need To Be Switched On........

      Given how expensive Apple iThings are, it might be better to market an attachment that you can stick on which ensures that you always know the location of the owner.

      -A.

  6. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    I did not do latin in school.

    A pedometer - just how many children do you have to have before you need machinery to count them?

    Also I'll just leave this here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkangel_(Black_Mirror)

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: I did not do latin in school.

      It's not a question of amount, it's a question of not needing to remove your eyes one second from that all-important screen that has replaced your hand (and mind, apparently).

      Coming next : an Education app which will gamify your child's upbringing, so you can finally ignore the brat completely and fob it off to a slab of plastic and toxic metals while you go on with the more important things in your life, namely your next Twitter post.

      1. HappyDog

        Re: I did not do latin in school.

        "while you go on with the more important things in your life, namely your next Twitter post."...

        "... about how too much screen time is bad for children"

        F(inished)TFY.

    2. Sp1z

      Re: I did not do latin in school.

      Coincidentally I re-watched this only yesterday.

      Rumour has it that they stopped making episodes of Black Mirror because they couldn't come up with anything more insane than what is actually happening. Not sure if that's true but it makes sense.

    3. disgruntled yank

      Re: I did not do latin in school.

      @Cupboard

      Given that "pais" is Greek, I'm not sure how the Latin classes would have helped.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: I did not do latin in school.

        > Given that "pais" is Greek

        Is it? What does it mean?

        It's also Spanish. And Catalan. With a small orthographical adjustment French too. I dare say that the same is true for a bunch of other languages, especially romance ones.

        It means country.

        -A.

  7. b0llchit Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Bad move to know too much

    So very, very glad that this tech was not available when I was young. So good that my parents did not know all of my whereabouts and actions...

    I may have turned out half good/half bad (depends on your perspective and BOFH understandings you get from non-peers), but that was surely not caused by me not being tracked for my every move.

    The question we all should ask ourselves: Why? Not everything we can do we also should do. Please, think of the children and let them be children.

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Bad move to know too much

      Been there, done that.

      We would probably have found a way to disable the device anyway. It was also simpler times, when people weren't afraid of everything.

      <insert Franklin's quote about security and freedom here>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bad move to know too much

        Disable it? You mean, walk as far as the park and just leave it there strapped to a tree branch so you can collect it later? Surely?

        Disabling it would arouse suspicion.

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Re: Bad move to know too much

          The heart rate monitor would show they'd been removed, so realistically people would put them on their mates younger siblings.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bad move to know too much

            Attach it to the dog and see the heart rate monitor warnings go ballistic …

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Bad move to know too much

      There was some tracking when we were kids. Most people for a wide radius (for a kid) knew who the local kids we were and would step in if we needed help (plaster for grazed knees) or caused any mischief (clip round the ear for kicking the ball against the house of a bloke on night shift and unacceptable* scrumping come to mind). Our mum, dad or nan would find out sooner or later where we'd been and what we'd been up to and in the case of serious mischief there was the anxious wait for the second clip round the ear. It seemed to work OK and meant that parents of our generation were more willing to let us roam fairly far and wide because adults were less wary of looking out for kids.

      *unacceptable due to the quantity repeatedly scrumped because we were selling the apples to buy fireworks. Acceptable scrumping went largely unpunished apart from being shouted at or being chased by the odd dog.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Bad move to know too much

        Did you grow up in an Enid Blyton book?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bad move to know too much

          He probably rode a bike and delivered bread to brass brand music.

        2. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Bad move to know too much

          I dreamed of living in an Enid Blyton book. One of the Secret Seven series, ideally.

          I suspect that the real take home is that the post-war generation of parents looked out for each other. All my childhood friends' parents were known as "auntie" or "uncle", as were my parents to my childhood friends.

          I don't remember any of them clipping my ear, though, however deservedly.

          -A.

      2. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

        Re: Bad move to know too much

        Mirrors my recollections of growing up. As long as we were 'back for tea', and you didn't want to miss that!

        These companies are in the business of amplifying parents fears in order to increase profits.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bad move to know too much

          I think the false sense of freedom probably comes from carefully curated locations people were allowed to be.

          I was allowed to "play out" and "go where I wanted" but it usually involved me being dropped off somewhere and collected at a specific time...also, I typically wasn't allowed to go to town centres etc alone...basically anywhere really busy. I can't remember what age I was, but I think I was probably at least 12...I also grew up in a village, not an urban suburb. What's sad about the village is that virtually none of the original residents still live there...it's all foreign money there now and last time I passed through I was struck by how shitty it had become. The park I used to play in was fucked, hadn't been maintained in years, broken glass everywhere...the centre of the village now has a busy "mini" supermarket in it with cars whizzing in and out constantly. Two of the fields I used to play in were gone entirely and had new build housing estates on them full of 2 bed town houses and a block of flats. It is no longer the quiet village I grew up in, it has turned into a semi-urban hellscape with no space for kids to go that isn't busy or just straight up dangerous. I think the one major thing that is missing from places like this, that I think most of us can probably remember, is the two miserable old bastards in flat caps that seem to Police the streets that everybody knows, who seem to know how to contact your Dad immediately, that walked the same route every day at the same time. You know the guy, he's the one that always sat by the door at the pub and eyeballed you as you came in and you were worried he'd spoken to your Dad! Which he definitely had done, but your Dad would never let on until maximum stress had been reached. He would never drink more than a half at each pub he visited in his daily rounds and for some reason you knew exactly which pub he was in at any given time in the day...but you didn't really know his name...you only knew the nickname the locals had given him...The Emporer. He also had the front door key and fruit machine key for at least one pub.

          Obviously, as a kid I just thought people like that were just miserable old bastards...but as I get older, I see that people like that were key to somewhere being safe, orderly and connected. Dad always used to tell me that "A miserable bastard that bloke might be, but when you're older you'll get it, and hopefully you'll have miserable old bastards looking out for you and your lot"...and you know what, he was right...except we have nobody like that anymore. Because you can't be like that. I caught a couple of kids throwing a glass bottle about on the next street over as I was walking home, so I went over there with a dustpan and brush and told them to sweep it up and put it in the bin, thinking I was doing the right thing and that I was doing my bit. I was told to "fuck off" and one of the kids chavvy parents came out and asked me "what the fuck I thought I was doing telling their kids to sweep up the mess they made" and they threatened to call the Police and all sorts of shit. What struck me, is that if she had seen me walking up with a dustpan and brush, she could almost certainly see that her kids were fucking around breaking glass on the pavement.

          I am a father now with two kids and there is no chance I'd let my 4 and 8 year olds out by themselves. Not because I think they're going to be abducted or anything, but because they're just too daft to be roaming about by themselves and arseholes like the one above exist. The roads are a lot busier than they were when I was a kid...I used to play football in the road and there was hardly any traffic...you might see a car once every 20 minutes or so and it'd be moving at a pace that gave you plenty of time to get out of the way. Crucially, the sides of the street weren't packed with parked cars (because most families only had one car) so visibility was pretty clear in every direction not only for the kids but also the drivers. These days everyone seems to have to have a car each, which leads to driveways being full and overspilling onto the street. My family only has one car, it's all we need...we could have more cars, but what's the point? My neighbour has 4 cars and a huge fucking Sprinter van...not only that, they've "designed" their driveway in such a way that they have zero visibility pulling out of their drive (tall conifers each side, high walls etc...they have to nudge out over the pavement until they can see what's going on...the sheer number of people I see almost getting hit outside their drive as they try and walk past is insane. My drive is wide open, with no high walls and I can see down the street in both directions clearly before I even get close to the pavement. I designed it this way because I don't want to back into a kid that is just walking home from school minding his own business.

          Looking out at my street now, almost the whole street has cars parked along it, so visibility is crap and even though it is midday, there are delivery vans, cars and motorbikes going past regularly.

          Are we overprotective of kids these days? Perhaps...is it a lot more dangerous for kids to play on the streets? Absolutely.

          If my kids were out and about by themselves, I'd be more concerned about them wandering into traffic and getting flattened than anything else. I'd also be concerned that if something happened, nobody would assist.

          Personally, if I saw someone elses kid in distress, I'd help...but I don't think the majority of people think that way. They would likely call the police, waste police time, hide in their house and watch through the window until all the "stress" died down.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Bad move to know too much

            is it a lot more dangerous for kids to play on the streets? Absolutely.

            I call bullshit. Wild generalization needs actual supporting data.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Bad move to know too much

            "Personally, if I saw someone elses kid in distress, I'd help...but I don't think the majority of people think that way."

            That's a dangerous thing to do as you might be suspected of improper things and an allegation is as good as a conviction in so many eyes.

            A lot of the people on Escape to the Country are parents that are moving from a big city for their kids to have a better environment to grow up in. I have to applaud that even when it means hours on a train twice a day. At my dad's place in the country, I knew just about all of the neighbors within walking distance and they knew who I was even though I didn't live full time with my dad. The shopkeepers knew me (and my dad/stepmother). My friends and I got up to all sorts of things, nothing really bad and never had any issues. We could go adventuring all over the place ignoring fences and only be warned off if there was some real danger (an aggressive bull or other animal).

      3. disgruntled yank

        Re: Bad move to know too much

        @Headley

        Indeed--a sort of low level of kitchen-window surveillance that ensured that mischief stopped short of mayhem.

      4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Bad move to know too much

        Most people for a wide radius (for a kid) knew who the local kids we were and would step in if we needed help

        This is true of the neighborhood where my granddaughters live now. Parents would do well to build their local communities rather than investing in siege mentality.

        Of course, this requires you not live in Texas or Florida or Chicago. But that's good advice regardless.

        (To really curb US dangerism, we need to greatly restrict qualified immunity, unfortunately, and there's little chance of that happening with the current Congress and SCOTUS.)

      5. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Bad move to know too much

        "Our mum, dad or nan would find out sooner or later where we'd been and what we'd been up to and in the case of serious mischief there was the anxious wait for the second clip round the ear"

        Living in a small village does lead to everybody knowing which kids are ok, which ones need watching and which parents belong to which kids. It makes getting away with much more difficult. I almost never got my ear dinged, but mainly that was due to knowing it would definitely happen if I screwed up where I could be seen or seen going to/from where the screw up took place. I wasn't punished for things often when I was young, I came to realize quickly that I'd be caught and therefore was supervising myself a lot more than some kid in a city where people didn't know them by name (and their parents).

  8. Alistair
    Windows

    Stranger Danger!!!!

    And now, well, we're gonna let the strangers track 'em everywhere they go.

    Trust me on this, it will be less than a year before someone punches a hole in this thing so that *anyone* can get the tracking data.

    That said, when I were young there were summer days where I'd pack a backpack with snacks and drinkables, hop on my bike and vanish for the day, back for dinner or thereabouts.

    All I ask of mine, is that they let me know periodically that they are still breathing and if they'll be home for dinner, and if not, who they're eating with.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Stranger Danger!!!!

      “trust me on this bro”

      The kids have already been carrying phones with location services for many years already. Find my friends and other similar are old hat.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Stranger Danger!!!!

      Troy Hunt (of Have I Been Pwnd) looked into some of these trackers a while back, and they had abysmal security, even by the terrible standards of the industry.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

    Asking for a friend... who can't see the point.

    TBH... neither can I.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

      I haven't worn a watch of 'any' kind since 2004, when my arm got caught in a 19" rack. The band popped, and I've never put a watch back on my wrist.

      1. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

        Machinist made up a C-shaped open-end watch "strap" for my dad in the mid 1940-s. So that if it was caught, it would tear off. Evidently a standard thing in the Navy then. Wore something similar for the rest of his life.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

        I haven’t worn a ring on my finger since 1982; it got caught on an overhead circuit breaker as I stepped down having reset it, so took my full weight.Luckily didn’t do too much damage = finger recovered but still have a ring shaped scare and an odd shaped remains of the ring ( had to be cut off).

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

        I generally wear a watch, but it's one of a few inexpensive quartz analog watches that I have. (I have more than one because one has a cracked crystal and I use it when I'm working on the house, and a couple more I got for free when someone was getting rid of them.)

        My daughter has an Apple Watch that she uses to preview messages and the like. Personally, if I get a message, I read it when I'm good and ready to read it, and I don't mind taking my phone out of my pocket to do so.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

      My girlfriend has one, her main use is viewing notifications for texts etc. when she doesn't have her phone in hand - she is a hairdresser so glancing at her wrist to see if e.g. her next appointment is telling her they are running late is better than grabbing her phone to look. But she uses that function all the time because she's always leaving her phone laying about wherever around the house (or is able to leave her phone laying around wherever because of this)

      Not sure if she uses it during workouts since we don't workout at the same gym, but I would guess she probably does.

      So at least for her, it is useful, but definitely not worth it for me. I could see getting something to wear during bike rides and runs to track my heart rate but an Apple Watch would be overkill for that so I'd probably get some fitness band with limited functionality.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

        her main use is viewing notifications for texts etc. when she doesn't have her phone in hand

        That and being able to tell the time would be the main use for me but I'm not going to spend more than a couple of tenners on such a thing. I would like a watch which could pop-up reminders but I'm not convinced it would be better than the watch I have which does its job for many years before needing a battery replacement.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

      They are everywhere, just observe wrists.

      It’s not all about you.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: just observe wrists

        What?

        And be accused of wrist voyeurism?

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

        If they are everywhere, why would I have to observe wrists?

        For reasons which are far too complicated to describe here, my brother once spent the best part of an hour trying to get a good glimpse of passersbys' watches, and noted that the security staff* started to take an interest.

        -A.

        *Too complicated. I think I already mentioned that.

    4. anonanonanonanonanon

      Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

      Since the advent of the mobile phone, I have not worn a watch, and have been pretty untempted by the iWatch even though I'm an Apple fan.

      Well, until recently, I have been trying to get into swimming again for fitness, and it looks pretty good for that, but then, I never really liked watches ever and seems a bit pointless to get one just for that. I've also started using apple pay with the iPhone and that's pretty neat, but not sure it would make me wear a watch all the time. Plus I still don't like it only works with my credit card and not my debit

      1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

        I always wear a watch, and I have an Apple Watch now. While it does have GPS, I don't use it for that. I used it primarily because at work, we are required to use Exchange 365 for our emails and calendar, and the Apple watch connects quite nicely to that. It's handy to be able to look at my wrist and see exactly where I am supposed to go next. It's also handy for checking transport timetables, especially as I often have to travel through areas you *really* don't want to carry a phone in.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

        "Well, until recently, I have been trying to get into swimming again for fitness, and it looks pretty good for that, but then,"

        It's pointless there too unless you are just trying to justify the purchase. Pick a fitness activity that you like and do it until you get tired, then stop. Rinse and repeat. Don't track it and don't set fixed times to be doing it. When I was training for triathlons, a long time ago, I just swam, ran and biked with no fixed times or distances as practice. Never did win no checkered flags, but I never did come in last. My goal was to finish the race and do a bit better each time. I was racing myself and not anybody else. Entering sanctioned events was a way to be tested by an outside scrutinizer. Strapping on some sort of analyzer, if one were available, wasn't going to help. If you plan on being competitive in a sport, that's different.

    5. disgruntled yank

      Re: Who on earth buys an Apple Watch?

      Well, a fellow I work with, who as it happens has bought one for his daughter. He has an appetite for the bright and shiny, and apparently a wallet to sustain the appetite.

  10. Stork Silver badge

    I saw something similar years back

    Perhaps ten years ago, somewhat simpler but the same idea of a mobile watch gps tracking thing for paranoid parents.

    I felt no compulsion to get one, even as parent to a child in the target age.

  11. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Don't forget

    You can get investigated and charged by Child Protective Services for letting your kid walk 15 blocks home from school.

    https://reason.com/2022/11/16/suburban-mom-jailed-handcuffed-cps-son-walk-home/

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/04/13/parents-investigated-letting-children-walk-alone/25700823/

    https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/dcfs-called-on-family-of-eight-year-old-walking-a-dog/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't forget

      America FTW!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't forget

        Fuck The Wankers?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't forget

          Naah, don't want to risk them multiplying.

    2. Stork Silver badge

      Re: Don't forget

      Whereas in Basel, social services check on your family if you don’t let your six year old walk to school _alone_. Happened to a cleaner at my wife’s company.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Don't forget

      "You can get investigated and charged by Child Protective Services for letting your kid walk 15 blocks home from school."

      I walked much further than that, in six feet of snow, barefoot, both ways. I was told it built character. Don't know about that, but I was very sure about the cold feet.

  12. Frank Long

    To be fair, you can pick up a second hand Apple Watch SE for a smidge over £100 which a lot cheaper than the $400 cited in the article and has a wireless connection, supporting this functionality without a phone.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      You can, but you would then need to pay for the connection to the watch, which isn't as simple as putting a SIM in it. I also think you can have only one watch per iPhone, so if the parent has one of their own, they'll need another phone for the child and that's now two mobile connections. The equipment isn't cheap, even if you buy second hand. That said, having children isn't a cheap activity, and the cost for this setup may not be that large compared to other expenses even if the total cost ends up being a big number (doesn't stop it being unnecessary though).

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      The Apple Watch is about 8 years on the market now, plenty of time for upgraded devices to be handed down to the kids.

      1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

        Only 8 years old...

        I've had my 'new' watch 25 years...... And my 'old' watch, which still works, is older than I care to state on this forum......

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Only 8 years old...

          My late father bought me a very nice watch(Sekonda) as a graduation present way back in '75. I wore it for a month and it stopped. After letting it sit for a week, it started working again. worked for another month. Rinse and repeat until I simply gave up wearing a watch. I did replace the watch with a 'Half-hunter' that was made before WW1. That still works today. No batteries to run down.

          Now I hate having something on my wrist.

          1. Mike 137 Silver badge

            Re: Only 8 years old...

            "My late father bought me a very nice watch(Sekonda) as a graduation present way back in '75. I wore it for a month and it stopped."

            Solid Soviet enginering! The can openers used to bend and break after a dozen or so cans too.

        2. Tim99 Silver badge

          Re: Only 8 years old...

          I have several watches. One is gold and >55 years old, which I won in a competition; another is an 80+ years old Longines Professional which my father bought in WWII; but the one I wear the most is an Apple Watch 8. It saves me having to walk around with a phone. I have to pay the Apple Tax to have a phone to set it up, but my cheap phone and the watch together seem less expensive than the high-end Apple or Android phones that I see people carrying. I admit to being of the generation that walked miles to school, in the snow, uphill both ways, and know that the author has a point to make, but the article could perhaps have said "which can start from around $300 for the basic GPS and cellular model.

          A younger friend has an autistic child who has an Apple Watch, the school that they attend does not allow mobile phones - Both the parents and child have said that it has made a significant difference to their feeling of security. The parents said that they would have considered home schooling without it. Fortunately, I will have shuffled off before there is a conversation about fitting children with iMplants...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If Apple have stuck with their usual updates & apps requiring the latest update to be able to function then only apple watches from the last 3-4 years will be able to have the latest OS version, anything older will be largely useless.

        1. Sp1z

          I've got an Apple Watch 2 on my wrist right now, as it is every day. It was first on the market in September 2016 and I purchased it in early 2017.

          It still receives semi-regular updates and still functions perfectly for all I need it to do (activity monitor, music switching, notifications), and the battery still lasts well over a day, so I'm not sure where you are getting your information from.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Yes, Apple do support devices for years but there is still a pub-bore belief that they don’t.

            1. captain veg Silver badge

              Missed point

              Why would a watch need updates?

              Winding every day, OK*.

              Possibly a battery change every couple of years. Less convenient, but manageable.

              -A.

              * I never had one, but always aspired to a self-winding watch. So I never got to see the little arm reach out of the watch face and rotate the knurled knob on the side all by itself.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Yeah, the type of people who would give an Apple Watch to their kids are probably the type who replace perfectly usable expensive consumer equipment, too.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Or, indeed, a watch.

          -A.

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "The Apple Watch is about 8 years on the market now, plenty of time for upgraded devices to be handed down to the kids."

        I expect what you mean is the kids get the newest device and the parents go on with the old bit of kit. "OMG!, I would literally die of embarrassment if I had to wear that dated piece of stone. It's so six months ago. Charlotte has the iWatch 17,000 and it's sooooo much better".

  13. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Good Lord how the world has changed!

    When I was a kid, I got the boot in my butt shortly after breakfast. With a stern comment about 'be on time for dinner'. My parents never knew, cared, or worried about where I was. As long as I was out of the house, they were fine. Only piece of technology I had was an early digital watch. I actually had to be responsible and figure out how much time it took to bike / walk / hike so that I wasn't late to dinner.

    The icon because, seriously - let kids be kids. They don't need to wear an electronic leash.

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Good Lord how the world has changed!

      This really isn't surprising, since kids are already put on leashes in the US. Sad, really. My kids were a handful, but I never felt the need to treat them like dogs. My dog has a harness and leash almost exactly like this one.

      https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kEgrfH7qyfk/TcqpjY9k3FI/AAAAAAAAARU/h_GCObZYCks/s1600/child-safety-strap.gif

      When I was a kid of 10, I'd roam as far as the next town over on my bicycle, 8 miles away, just because I had all day to do something.

      1. david 12 Silver badge

        Re: Good Lord how the world has changed!

        My sister had her parents on the other end of a leash in the 1960's. So did I for that matter, but I don't remember it. I've heard her reminisce with other leashed kids about the security of knowing that your parents couldn't get away from you, and the relief of knowing that you couldn't be shouted at after you'd wandered off the sidewalk onto some harmless looking bitumem/asphalt.

    2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Good Lord how the world has changed!

      "the boot in my butt"

      Same, my brother and I would get "go outside" at high volume. Of course, my parents always knew where we were -- we were outside. No watch though, we tracked dinner time by a combination of Sun, rumbling in the stomach, and scarcity of other kids outside.

      My mom told of her and our cousin (they would have been like 12 and 14) taking a .22 pistol from the farm, walking down the road, having some target practice in the woods (sounds totally unsafe!), hiking up the mountain (the locals call it a hill), sliding down the scree, meeting some other cousins at the pond for a swim, then back by a different road in time for dinner -- basically every day in the summer. We drive by the mountain each summer and it looks to be about a 15 mile loop.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Good Lord how the world has changed!

        Child-rearing books from around the turn of the twentieth century often describe young children – around 10 years old, say – staying away from home for days at a time when not in school, camping alone or with siblings or friends, Swallows and Amazons style. For that matter, while later critics sometimes complained the S&A books are unrealistic in the amount of freedom the children are given, I don't recall any contemporary reviews from the 1930s and '40s making the same objection. (Of course the novels are set a couple of decades earlier – you can find the exact date in the message they cache on Katchenjunga, though I don't recall what it is offhand – but apparently even in the '30s it still didn't strike most people as implausible.)

        Realistic youth fiction of the era that's set in more-urban environments, such as, say, It's Like This, Cat, Harriet the Spy, or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler show relatively young children unaccompanied in the city. (Living in a museum, in FtMUF, is not itself particularly realistic, but Claudia and Jamie spend a lot of time doing mundane things like washing their clothes at the laundromat or eating at diners.)

        In the '70s and '80s my sibs and I didn't run off to live in the woods for a week, but we frequently played on the cliffs overlooking the harbor, or explored the storm-surge drainage tunnels, or took the bus into the city to go to the shops.

        Even with the statistically-significant jumps in 2002 and 2020, violent crime in the US is greatly decreased from the early 1990s. I've yet to see a reliable source supporting the dangerist tendencies that have spread widely in the US in the 21st century.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Good Lord how the world has changed!

          "I've yet to see a reliable source supporting the dangerist tendencies that have spread widely in the US in the 21st century."

          I believe that it's just perception that things are worse and what's really happened is we hear of terrible things happening from every corner of the world almost as they happen. When I grew up there wasn't the need for news outlets to find every instance of spilled blood and publish same. Statistically, crimes against children has gone down in most real ways. There are new categories with non-custodial parents taking off with their kids and causing road signs all over a state to show BOLO's and phones being buzzed to warn of an abducted child alert 300 miles away. Yes, they could be headed south and somebody might remember to keep an eye out for a white older model Toyota Camry just in case.

          I walked and rode my bike to school for all but 2 years when we lived a wee bit too far and I had to take the bus. If the weather was bad, we'd get a ride, but not on day without hissing rain. I can recall a few rainy days when there wasn't a ride to be had and I put on the rain gear and rode the bike. It was a whole mile!

        2. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Good Lord how the world has changed!

          In the early seventies I was often out hiking with my best friends and a tent on the north downs.

          We had a fantastic childhood.

          I'm nearly pensionable now and yet, when I leave after visiting them, my parents demand that I phone, email or text them when I get home. Often after having driven several hundred kilometres.

          It seems that expectations have changed.

          -A.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes perfect sense to give the kids a watch..

    .. I mean, I tried having them swallow airtags but I'm running out of quicklime to bury all the Social Services people that that attracted.

    Also, as for the Rezvani Vengeance, I have a problem with it having an "explosive underbody". I would much prefer one that was explosion proof. I'm picky, I know..

    /s

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "pedometer"

    Does this count how many Catholic Priests have been near the child?

  16. Emir Al Weeq

    Perfect business model

    Let's sell Air-tags to people who want to track others.

    Now let's sell an app to detect if someone's tracking you with an Air-tag.

    Now let's sell a new way to track people.

    Coming soon: an app to tell if there's an an Apple watch (that isn't yours) following you about.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Perfect business model

      Coming soon: an app to tell if there's an an Apple watch (that isn't yours) following you about.

      In a way that already exists: the "LightBlue" app from Punch Through picks up an amazing amount of Bluetooth traffic and at least identifies my own Watch - I'm going to have to check if it spots/names that of others (Airtags only come up as "Unnamed", BTW) - I'm not sure if it picks up names from the associations the iPhone has itself or that Bluetooth devices are broadcasting it themselves.

      It's an interesting Bluetooth debugging tool to play with, free and available for both iOS and Android.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Perfect business model

        "It's an interesting Bluetooth debugging tool to play with, free and available for both iOS and Android."

        I'll have to look and see if it requires an active phone to use. I don't typically have BT, WF, Data or location active on my phone if I'm not using them. Since many do, a throw away phone that can be kept in a pocket logging contacts might be interesting. One function might be if an unknown phone is near you for a specified length of time if you are moving. It can tell you if somebody might be following you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Perfect business model

          I like that idea. As the app is a demo for the stuff that company sells it's well possible they have the libraries you need to make this happen - after all, all you need is to keep an eye on signal levels and sort on Bluetooth MAC addresses and duration presence. That may also identify any non-you Airtags you carry, even before the Apple tools pick it up, and with the signal level you can find them.

          It would be cool if you could get access to the directional system that iPhones appear to have for finding Airtags, I suspect they have two separate BT antennas.

          As for messing with that app, on a recent Eurostar trip it found no less than 260 separate Bluetooth signals. Wow.

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Let me see now...

    What my parents could have discovered if they had these sort of things.

    Me and my best mate rummaging around in a half collapsed house in a London bomb site - yes, I am that old!

    After we moved out, a bunch of us floating a raft (section of 6ft wooden fence with empty oil cans as floats) across the scummy waters of a disused gravel pit.

    Putting pennies on the nearby railway lines.

    Breaking into a rotting shed in the woods - it was empty.

    Me and a mate cycling to an MOD site and having a nose around - nearly got caught, but we could cycle faster than squaddies could run :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let me see now...

      Putting pennies on the nearby railway lines.

      That would have been OK. Leaves, however ..

      :)

  18. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Pocket money scheme for school athletes

    For $5 a day, that kid in class 4C will wear your Apple Watch as he trots around the school field.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mechanical watches

    I Treated myself to an automatic wrist watch as a 60th birthday present, it has a 3 day life if its not on my wrist, is the least accurate watch I've ever owned as it loses several seconds per day but I love it. I have a solar powered analogue watch which is still going well after 5 years and is incredibly accurate, that has survived a trip through the washing machine and being ward during diy and working on the car with minimal noticeable damage to the case but its not got the same mystique as a purely mechanical automatic watch.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Mechanical watches

      I really like my 17 jewel fully mechanical wrist watch I received as a 16th birthday present.(*)

      The only problem with mechanical watches (and clocks) is the cost of maintenance - that is if you can find someone willing and able to service them; you've either got to really like your chronometer (and thus be immune to servicing costing more than it is worth) or it has to be a recognised name and thus ridiculously expensive.

      (*)The laugh is this watch isn't worth very much as it isn't a collectors piece, however to buy the equivalent new today, I would have to spend a few thousand to get the same level of craftmanship and quality of movement.

  20. Captain Scarlet
    Megaphone

    Find my Goat

    I hate children being called kids!

    I want to shout at that cloud!

    Someone put me in an old peoples home already :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Find my Goat

      It's worse when they're called kidz, so relax :)

      1. Captain Scarlet
        Mushroom

        Re: Find my Goat

        A Z :whaa:

  21. Lazlo Woodbine

    Our company's mission is to make sure parents raise happy kids in a safe environment.

    Surely advising them to move away from a country where there's more guns than people would be a start.

    Somehwere you don't need a bulletproof SUV with pepper-spray enabled mirrors perhaps...

  22. John G Imrie

    Wonderfull Idea

    Get kids used to being tracked and they'll grow up to be adults used to being tracked.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Wonderfull idea

      What gets my partner is the other parents in her book group who not only do track their young adults at University! but also think it is natural and normal(*), hence think we who don't as being negligent parents.

      Yet these same people when questioned will tell you about the exploits they got up to which their parents were unaware of and thought was normal part of growing up...

      I take my daughter to university at the beginning of each semester and fetch her at the end. My guidance to her was: we are 4 hours away, build a local friendship group and look out for each other, take care and enjoy yourself, bye...

      (*) They know (ie. they regularly check) when their young adult misses a lecture because they are having a "normal student" start to the day, when they are at lectures, pub, club etc.

  23. Grunchy Silver badge

    Dangers of wristwatches & rings

    My dad knew of a guy that jumped out of a pickup bed & unfortunately got his watch caught on a metal thing, cut up his arm really bad.

    Rings are also prone to getting caught somewheres, or just stuck because you got a bit fat since the last time you took it off !

    I heard of a guy who bent over his carburetor to see what’s up & his necktie got caught in the radiator fan and yanked his face into the whirling blades.

    I had a buddy in high school who wore both long hair & a big feathery dangly ear ring, and they all got twisted up together one time, drew blood even.

    Sadly, we had a dog who didn’t have a “breakaway” collar, and twisted up his lead and then fell over the side of something & expired by strangulation.

  24. FIA Silver badge

    it is possible that a seven-year-old could be the proud owner of Apple's eponymous wrist-based device, which can start from around $400 new.

    But do start at $250.

    ...and second hand ones that work with this creepy as fuck app* can be had for less, or handed down from rich and paranoid hipster parents.

    * Seriously: "For instance, one of the best capabilities for the safety of your son or daughter is the app’s listening function. Once the app is downloaded, you’ll be able to access the speaker on your child’s watch so that you can listen to what is going on around them. It’s the next best thing to actually being with your kid."

    <shudder>

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Automatic homing system

    As kids we lived by a huge national park. There was plenty to do and see, you might even catch a blue tongue lizard! No matter how far we ventured we always returned about the time the sun was going down. It meant two things; it was dinner time and the bogey man was afoot.

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