Almost a year ago, the little firefly hit the wireless scene with its lively glow and child accessibility. It’s a phone for kids. It makes it really easy to call mom and dad, and for mom and dad to call their kid. It’s got only a few buttons to keep things simple and provides complete parental control. As a wireless geek, I have to comment on what I think is one of the cutest gadgets I’ve seen. It’s got to be one of the coolest toys in Toys R Us now. And with any first generation device, there are a lot of other things this phone could do in the future. While I don’t have kids today, I was one and remember how my over protective mom always wanted to know how I was. Having lived in two households, I also know how valuable it is to the kid to have a way to reach both parents whenever they want. Below outlines my initial thoughts on the current product and ideas for Firefly Mobile’s future.
The 911 button is a great start. Add a GPS to the phone so that you can offer the e911 service that allows our 911 centers to better determine the callers position without requiring their input, and you’re really set. As I see it, with kids there are a million possibly scenarios of them getting themselves into trouble or it finding them. I’d go beyond 911 & e911 and add an alarm function that blasts a high pitched alarm sound when activated. This could be used for those situations where they’re stuck in something or even worse, someone is trying to take them somewhere they don’t want to go. None of these measures handles all situations a kid could find themselves in, but the more mitigated the better.
Presence has become a popular term and concept with the advent of instant messaging. Most versions now even show when the person is on their computer versus a mobile phone and some are getting smart enough to tell the difference between someone at home and at work. But, what about true presence? This is a valuable concept when it comes to parents. Knowing where your kids are can be invaluable to a little comfort while at work. The next generation firefly needs to better integrate the GPS technology available today. The firefly should not only let parents call their kids, but should let them know where they are and notify them if they leave a predefined safe zone. Learn more. This is the key feature of the Wherifone by Wherify Wireless.
As our wireless infrastructure and technology advances, so will our abilities to communicate. It seems to me that mom or dad would much rather see their little ones face then simply hear their voice. My bet is that we’ll see versions of these kids phones in the short future that allow video to be sent and received. Imagine what a parent would pay to see their kids smiling face at lunch time. Thankfully, these aren’t for teens! Imagine having your mom trying to see what you’re up to…
- Quick Messages or Alerts – provide parents the capability to send a text message to their child reminding them of something they need to do or where they’re suppose to be; could be SMS or email
- Calendar Function – kids schedules are almost as crazy as a business executive; keeping track of it all could be easy with a web based calendar that sych’d with the phone similar to Danger’s Hiptop
- Games – can’t we let them have snakes at least! make them cherish it so it doesn’t get lost easily
- Lights, Camera, Action! – why can’t they have a way to take pictures and send them with little messages to mom, dad and the grandparents
…more as I think of them.