This Sleek Watch Connects Parents to Their Kids
VIVOplay combines GPS, Wi-Fi-triangulation, and both high-band and low-band GSM technology in order to salve parental anxiety.
With a push of a button you can get in touch with your child—or your child can get in touch with you.
In 2009 Sten Kirkbak faced a situation that had the potential to be any parent’s worst nightmare—his son Filip disappeared in a shopping mall. Kirkbak panicked. Thankfully Filip was found, and with Kirkbak’s relief came a realization—parents and children need to be able to reach each other quickly and easily. But there was no single device that blended communication, location, ease of use, and appealing design, so Kirkbak founded a company, Evado Filip, to manufacture and sell such a product.
He hired Anderssen & Voll—the design group of Torbjørn Anderssen and Espen Voll—to create VIVOplay, a combination watch, communication device, and GPS navigator that not only allows parents to reach their children easily, but also locate them in the event of an emergency, using a specially designed app on their smartphone.
“The big issue from a design perspective was to determine the shape and semantics for a product category that is new to people,” says Anderssen. The team needed to squeeze all the necessary technology into an item small enough for a child to wear, so it took advantage of every bit of internal space, even inside the wristband. Here Anderssen discusses the design of VIVOplay, which is scheduled to launch in the United States in September 2013.
The antenna technology is quite space-consuming. Much of the job has been focused on shuffling the components and packing them down into a size that’s wearable for kids. The water-resistant, shock-resilient communication unit is enveloped in medical-grade silicone.