BARCELONA—Losing track of a loved one, like a small child or an elderly relative with dementia—even temporarily—has got to be one of the worst feelings in the world. That’s why the FiLIP watch-shaped phone for kids was created. But if you don’t want to give your family member even a stripped-down phone so that you can track their whereabouts with GPS, Italian company I’m SpA has developed the I’m Tracer, a wrist-worn GPS that debuted this week at Mobile World Congress.
Like the FiLIP, which we loved at CES, the I’m Tracer comes in bright colors that appeal to kids, and it’s harder to lose than a smartphone would be. In fact, I’m Tracer actually straps down more tightly than FiLIP, and it can adjust to more sizes of wrist—it even adapts to fit a pet’s collar, in case you take your dog camping or on vacation and worry Fido will run off.
A whole network of I’m Tracer wristbands can be tracked via an Android and iOS app, or the Web dashboard. The Tracer has GPS and a SIM card that works with more than 500 carriers around the world, to send the location data up to the cloud. This makes it ideal for family vacations, or even an adventurous person taking a solo backpacking trip through an unfamiliar country. (Or a bunch of reporters sent to Spain for Mobile World Congress! But I digress.)
If you use the app to set safe zones, you can get automatic notifications when the Tracer enters or leaves those zones. And at any time, the person wearing the Tracer can press two buttons on each side to broadcast a notification of their location. An accelerometer inside can even send an SOS signal if the Tracer detects sudden, violent motion like a fall or a car accident.
In contrast, the FiLIP lets the wearer call and send texts to a five preapproved numbers. So if you get an SOS signal from your child’s FiLIP, you can not only find its location but call it to ask what’s wrong. With the Tracer, all you, the parent, know is that the SOS is going off and you better get there fast—even if it turns out your kid just threw the watch down the stairs or something. Still, its global service makes Tracer a smart choice for jet-setters who don’t mind the deliberately limited feature set.
Exact prices and release dates are still to be determined, but I’m SpA estimates a July debut for around $200, and monthly or pay-as-you-go service for under $10 a month.
This story, "I'm Tracer GPS wearable lets you find your loved ones anywhere in the world" was originally published by TechHive.