John Renaldi had one of those heart stopping moments when he lost his child in a crowded park. It lasted only 30 minutes and all went well, but it inspired the ex-Motorola employee to create Jiobit, the smallest, longest-lasting geotracker on the market to help parents always be able to locate their kids.
Jiobit, available for pre-sale this week, is a small tile-like device that clips onto to a child’s clothing or shoes. It might not be great for kids older than eight who would rather write an extra homework paper than admit that their parents use a tracker on them, but it’s pretty ideal for toddlers and preschoolers for a number of reasons.
Unlike other trackers the on the market, it is not a phone (it has no two-way calling). But unlike other trackers, it does have progressive beaconing. This means it hops around from WiFi to Bluetooth to cellular so that it can locate your child wherever they may be. And because it can hop from one connection to the other it saves the device’s battery life. Jiobit claims a 2-month battery life, optimizing power savings because it knows the optimal channel to use, according to Lindsay Slutzky, Chief Marketing Officer for Jiobit.
As a matter of fact, it even has an altimeter so that if your child is lost on the second floor of a shopping center and you’re on the first, you’ll be able to locate them. Parents can also use it as a geofence so that they’re alerted on their devices if their child steps outside of a predetermined boundary.
Finally, it adds some interesting machine learning to the mixture. It can learn your child’s basic patterns and act accordingly. Did they get off the bus after school at 3:30? If not, you’ll get an exception notification on your smart phone. Why did you take a different path home from school? As it learns behaviors it can alert you to deviations from the norm.
The device will retail for $179.99 with an annual fee of $99. The pre-order offer allows you to secure one for $149.99, plus waives the annual fee for the first year. How will the kids feel about wearing them? Slutsky shared a home video she made with her kids as she suited them up to be tracked. “The kids feel comfortable being tracked,” she added. “They like to know that you’re always looking out for them.”
Robin Raskin is founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations that intersect lifestyle and technology. LIDT produces conferences and expos at CES and throughout the year focusing on how technology enhances every aspect of our lives through the eyes of today’s digital consumer.