Friday, March 17, 2006


Willcom announce wireless kids safety device without the phone

On my journal on, I have written about several ways by which handset manufacturers in Japan have started targeting kids by marketing phones as essential safety devices. Willcom are launching a wireless device which shows that it is possible to have the safety features without full phone functionality.

The device is called doko-iruka, which can mean ‘where are you?’ but, as iruka is also Japanese for dolphin, the device (naturally!) takes on a cetacean theme. The device has only one button which turns ‘out of school mode’ off and on. When ‘out of school mode’ is on, the device sends location information to a server every 5 minutes which parents can check. The parents can also access on-demand location information whether ‘out of school mode’ is on or off. The device also has an emergency alarm, activated by pulling the dolphin’s tail off, which sends an email with the child's location to registered addresses.

The doko-iruka is a well-placed device for parents who are looking for safety devices for their children but are still uneasy about them having a fully functional mobile phone.

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