Have you ever wanted to strap a leash on your child just so you could make it through a simple trip to Target without having to order a store lockdown when your little escape artist makes a run for it? Yup, us too. The good news is, we may have found the solution to this very real problem. Read on for everything you want to know about the newest wearable kid-tracker to hit the market.
What is it?
Kid-trackers aren’t new (click here for a Red Tricycle story that listed a bunch of them earlier this year), but the quest to create the perfect lightweight device that kids can’t lose or take off—and that has a battery life long enough to make it trustworthy for parents—has led manufacturers to keep on trying.
Enter Jiobit. Made by a parent, the Jiobit is a lightweight wearable tracking device that straps onto your child’s clothing or backpack (using a childproof lock!) and can monitor a location in real-time, so you never have to wonder where she wandered off to. Jiobit CEO John Renaldi, a former VP of eCommerce at Motorola, says he co-founded the company after experiencing “the worst panic of his life” in 2015 when he lost his six-year-old son for 30 minutes in a crowded park.
“As a parent, I’ve always been concerned about my kids’ safety,” he said on the Jiobit website, “and this event left me feeling like I needed to do more. My search for wearable tracking solutions for kids came up way short—finding subpar products that were bulky, had terrible battery life, and was poorly designed.”
It can track your kid everywhere (even up and down!)
Whereas some trackers can only pinpoint location when the wearer is outdoors, Jiobit uses multiple cellular networks plus wifi and Bluetooth technology, so you don’t have to worry about dead zones. If you’re in a multi-level building, it even has a barometer so it can tell you if your child is on a different floor than you (helpful for Houdinis who like to dart up department store escalators).
What good is a tracker if the battery dies before your kid is found? The Jiobit can go more than a week (in some cases more than a month!) without a charge so you won’t have to worry about your child’s location suddenly disappearing from view because you forgot to plug in the device the night before.
Does your child head to an after-school program or a relative’s house after school? You can set customized boundaries and notifications that’ll alert you the moment your child arrives or departs a known location—this is great if you have someone else taking your kids to and from school.
You can also share your child’s location with your spouse, relatives, and other caregivers, who can all download the app so that you can know whom your child is with and when (Note: You can always place restrictions on when these people can view your child’s location.)
The device is fully waterproof up to five feet of depth for 30 minutes (Now you just have to waterproof your phone.).
You can use it like a leash
We think one of the coolest things about Jiobit isn’t just its ability to zero in on your child when you’re far away, but its ability to keep your kids close when you’re out as a family. Using the included app, just set a moving “geofence” for any of your Jiobit-wearing kids, so that if anyone wanders too far away from you, an alarm will sound on both your phone and on their trackers, making it easy for you to find each other.
Speaking of leashes … Your pets can use it, too!
Got some furry runners in your brood? Jiobits are small and lightweight enough that you can also use them to track your pets.
It works abroad
According to Jiobit, the tracker works in more than 158 countries. Given that traveling with little runners can be a nerve-racking prospect, that might make it our next must-have travel item.
The Jiobit costs $129.99, and requires a monthly cellular subscription of $5.99 a month ($0.99 a month for additional users), with no annual contracts. It is available for pre-order now and is expected to ship in November.
Find it online at Jiobit.com.
How do you feel about this and other kid-tracking devices? Tell us in the comments below.
— Melissa Heckscher
All photos courtesy of Jiobit.