Verizon GizmoWatch is an Apple Watch for kids, sort of…
In the past, it was perfectly acceptable to allow your children run around free in the neighbourhood without supervision or any worry. When you look back at your childhood, you most likely experienced the same thing – your parents would set a curfew for dinner expecting you to come home at the appropriate time. There were no thoughts of supervising children differently. Until now… And it blew my mind.
The GizmoWatch is a smartwatch designed with your child’s safety in mind. Despite some of the functionalities, it actually is very little like an actual Apple Watch… GizmoWatch has features such as track of a child with GPS location and receiving alerts when the child is outside GPS radius; you can create their 10 trusted contacts, control calls, messages and record voice files.
It’s said that automated alerts and GPS locators provide independence while still keeping you in the know… But how it can be called “independence” when every single step, move and habits of the child are tracked; when you even get notifications if your child tries to leave a “predetermined safety zone” and when you have the allowance of monitoring their current location and habits in real-time?
One part of me thinks that parents keeping track of their children is an absolutely brilliant idea as the world is not so forgiving anymore. We hear all these horrible stories about children going missing, being kidnaped or involved in some kind of accident every day. I believe that, as a parent, you can never be too careful or safe with your kid. But, on the other hand, another thing comes up to my head – an episode called “Arkangel” from TV series “Black Mirror” that examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies.
“Arkangel” is the name of an implanted chip technology that allows a parent to track and monitor their children, as well as pixelate images that would cause them distress. After nearly losing her daughter, a mother invests in that technology to keep track of her. The plan was to remove the parental control and put it aside once the daughter becomes a teenager. During the years of her childhood, daughter Sara has become socially outcast and emotionally immature, she grows frustrated at being unable to view the contents of a shock site as she could never illustrate its’ contents. Once the technology was deactivated, Sara explores a completely different world which is full of gore, internet pornography and terrorist beheadings. But it was not that easy for the mother to go along with the plan and give up the technology – she activates the tablet again and sees her teenage daughter living a completely different life from her expectations. As every “Black Mirror” fan knows, the end of the story is inevitably tragic…
When I’ve heard of GizmoWatch with tracking and controlling features, “Arkangel” was the first thought as a reference to it. It might be a bit of a too harsh example, but with technology growing rapidly every single day, GizmoWatch might be one of the very first steps going towards making everything what we see on TV real.
Is it exciting? Or is it scary…? Would you consider getting a GizmoWatch for your own children or would you put all of your trust in them and humanity and let them grow up free just like you did?
Give it a few more years and I am sure we will have a clear answer by then.