I’m the proud parent who was given the opportunity to get my hands on the Filip’s kid’s smart locator and phone in mid-January. Three of my worst nightmares involve my children being hurt and me unable to get to them and one involves an attack by angry bees. Luckily, Filip could handle all three, but is better suited for the first two.
I was a child that grew up in the era of Jacob Wetterling’s horrific kidnapping, my parents somehow seamlessly managed the line between keeping me inside forever and letting me be a kid. I checked in with my parents often, but roamed quite freely in the quiet Minnesota suburb where I played street hockey and the occasional game of Ding-Dong-Ditch. As a parent, I want our daughter, Ava, to have the same memories of childhood, but- the idea of letting her go into the woods alone, or even down the block has terrified me. How was my mother so calm with the reckless abandon of my childhood? Given the opportunity to test a product that puts my child’s safety first, I couldn’t refuse. Enter FILIP.
Filip fills a need for parents like me who haven’t yet understood how not to worry about my child’s safety. Anyone can have the Filip. Moms and dads don’t need to have an AT&T account as the phone is available on a stand-alone plan. Piece of mind is sometimes, priceless, especially in certain circumstances. Filip’s bands, ($39.99) are interchangeable, allowing you to change colors from green to red to blue. For picky children, this might be a great bargaining tool in allowing them to personalize their device. Ava stated that the Filip was comfortable and she was able to remove the wrist watch easily. Ava has the world’s tiniest wrists, and it fit just as snug on my 18 month old, with his perfectly-chubby little arms. For those with children that are bigger boned, Filip is coming out with a larger band set to debut in early 2014.
I imagine in the future, Filip technologies will be available for much older kids and even vulnerable adults. Right now, Filip is a fantastic idea. It’s no doubt a solution who can afford it. However, just like every technology that has come before, it has to come down in price and be less niche to reach the masses. According to Filip’s website, “big kid” sizing is going to be available in early 2014 offering those with aging parents or older children that need more personalized care, better choices. With some tweaks, I have no doubt that Filip could be a needed solution to many caregiver issues. The Filip needs a nightly recharge, which in this busy house, could easily be forgotten. The fact that the device lasts all day, is a bonus, because I can’t imagine adding, “how’s the Filip battery doing?” into my daily routine. At $199 for the device alone, $36 for the activation fee and $10 for each month of service, the Filip is a great product at a steep price.
The, “Please God, Don’t Let Us Break This…”
My darling 8 year old has a hard enough time not spilling water on our now plastic coated kitchen table. How could I put a $200 device in her hands and NOT freak out? We were trusted with a review unit and I didn’t do much more than ask her to try it on, talk to me about how it felt and ultimately decided that for the sake of being kind, we’d put it away in the beautiful packaging it came in. In trying to set the device up, we noticed a few things were missing from the box, (the power cord and adapter.) When I peeked on the website, the powercord and adapter were $20 each. For how much things go missing in this house, (thanks to our little guy,) I imagine we’d need extras stored away. In talking with Ava about the fit and her thoughts, we both decided it was a great idea. Ava said she would feel, “better” wearing the device because she’d know I was only a call away. (That’s enough to make me spend double the amount.) However, I would be afraid my child would break the Filip in her outdoor adventures. Filip’s warranty only covers manufacturer defect and normal use. No biking accidents involving my daughter pretending she is flying. Absolutely no suprise swimming, (which happens more than you know.) What if she submerges her hands in water while washing them? The device isn’t waterproof, only water resistant. I’m absent-minded as is, I think this is a lot of pressure to put on someone who’s a fraction of my age and only slightly less clumsy. If the device came with a, “Kid-proof” warranty, we would have purchased the moment I had my hands on its velvety, green and plastic wristband. If it was available at Best Buy, or another retailer, I’d purchase the extended warranty and feel that my investment was set. However, Filip is only available on the manufacturer’s website, or through AT&T.
Filip has a rare opportunity to ease my greatest fear, but only if they treat technology meant for kids, like… technology meant for kids. Throw a waterproof cover/warranty on this thing and I’d be hard-pressed to say, “no,” especially since its fun colors, smart and programmable settings and ease of use are absolute wins in my mind. Give it a few years and I imagine Filip is going to be spanning miles between parent and child, all with the simple click of a red button.
How Did It Start?
When Sten Kirkbak lost his 3-year old son Filip for thirty minutes, it inspired the idea for ‘FiLIP’: a new type of device to keep parents and their young children in touch. After speaking with other parents, it was clear that there was a need for this type of device to help give children the freedom they need to explore and discover, while staying in touch with those who matter most. FiLIP has a simple mission – to help kids be kids again, while giving parents an amazing new window into their children’s lives.
What Is It?
A wearable smart locator and phone for kids.
What Can It Do?
Filip allows you to set safezones with automatic notifications when a child leaves an approved area.Offers a one-touch call feature. By simply holding down a button for 3 seconds, the child calls programmed numbers and speakerphone initiates to hold a conversation. With one-way text messaging between parent and child, Filip offers a direct link to remind your child to bring homework home, or when it’s dinnertime. Filip works both on iOS and Android and is water-resistant, but not waterproof. The device functions as a watch with easy-to-read date and time.