“Hello parents! We see that you’ve bought your pre-teen child a smartphone and tablet. Would you like a smartwatch with all that other mobile technology?”
Somehow, Verizon and LG have come together to reach a new frontier in tethering juveniles to the digital ether. As opposed to drowning prepubescent boys and girls with animated pixels, though, it’s primarily a child surveillance tool — depending on how you view it, a good or bad thing.
Evan Blass went to work with a leak of the LG GizmoPal 2 and GizmoGadget today.
LG GizmoPal 2 (blue) and LG GizmoGadget (red) for VZW. pic.twitter.com/oglBjCj7aB
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) November 2, 2015
The original GizmoPal (now out of stock at Verizon) cost $50, — be it at full retail or with a two-year service contract — could go with iOS and Android devices and was dressed in pink or blue. Kids wearing the GizmoPal had call access to two (trusted) phone numbers and reception from four (trusted) phone numbers. There’s a GPS and also a companion tracking app for guardians to see where their kids — or, as it turns out sometimes, just the GizmoPal — at all times.
The GizmoGadget is expected to have much of the same capabilities as the GizmoPal with just some hardware upgrades likely. The GizmoPal 2 has a play button. We don’t know where that’s going.
The two-way on this is that you can let kids run more freely than you would untagged and outside line of sight. There’s a lot of security in a limited-channel, kid-friendly communication device. But such devices do enable the hawkish types to shelter their children to the extremes… and oh yeah, that surveillance thing and the internet and government.
The date pictured may be when we know more about these smartwatches for kids.