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Meet Tinitell, a dedicated smartphone for kids

Tinitell 4

With this week’s news coming thick and fast from Mobile World Congress, it’s easy to miss some of the more interesting technology that might be lost among all the headlines. Tinitell is device that has caught our attention recently, being a wearable mobile phone for kids that “enables peace of mind for parents, and lets kids be kids.”

Tinitell wearable phone and GPS tracker

Wearables have become more popular over the last year or so, and continue to be a focus for device makers. A relatively new entrant to the space is Tinitell – a wearable phone and GPS tracker aimed at kids, with electronics small enough that the whole thing can be worn by a toddler.

Tinitell 1

The product is the brainchild of a Swedish startup, which raised funds on Kickstarter with the aim of launching the product by April. At the moment, they have reached $140,933 of their $100,000 target, with completion of the fund achieved in May last year.

Besides being small, it’s also very simple to operate – there’s no screen on the device, just a button to activate and voice recognition to call a contact.

Tinitell 2

For example, the wearer can say “mum”, and Tinitell will call the number assigned to the voice label. It’s also possible to cycle through the contacts using the physical buttons, then just wait until it speaks the name of the contact you wish to call.

Tinitell 5

Contact can be added to the wearable using Tinitell’s website, or using a smartphone app, which helps parents to manage who can contact their child, and also locate them on a map if need be.

Timitell uses a 2G SIM to connect to the cellular network, with a battery that is said to last for more than an hour’s talk time on one charge, or a week in standby mode. It’s also thankfully waterproof, so it should be robust enough for the most playful of children.

Tinitell 6

“I came up with the idea for Tinitell when I was hanging out with a friend who is also a father,” says Tinitell founder Mats Horn. “His son wanted to go outside and play, but he didn’t have a cell phone. He had lost a cell phone once before, and we didn’t feel like lending out our smartphones. Worst of all, we couldn’t join him outside because we were busy cooking dinner. His son ended up playing in his room with his iPad, and I thought that was sad.

“I loved being outside when I was a kid… This led me to think there should be a simple mobile phone for kids, nothing advanced, just a nicely designed speaker and microphone to handle quick ‘hellos’ and ‘come heres’.”

The wearable nature of Tinitell means it’s much harder for a child to lose it than having a phone, and it’s also much less cumbersome than other GPS tracker systems.

Tinitell 3

Tinitell figures there’s a market for a dedicated kid’s wearable, but cost is likely to be a major factor whether these sort of devices succeed. It is listed on the company website for $129 (£84).

Tinitell 7

Tinitell is a welcome addition to the increasingly crowded wearables space, and has enough of a unique angle to make it an attractive proposition for many parents.

You can find out more about Tinitell on the company website website or Kickstarter.

By Roland Banks

Roland Banks has been passionate about mobile technology for the past 20 years. He started his career at British Telecom's research division working on collaborative virtual reality environments, before becoming a video streaming specialist at 3 UK where he helped launch some of the world's first mobile video services. More recently he enjoys writing about his obsession, and developing software that helps mobile operators analyse their subscriber data.

Roland has lived in Asia for the past 5 years, and tries to indulge his other passion for riding motorcycles whenever possible.

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