Friday, August 18th, 2006
Toddler Trackers: Giggle Bug and SmokeSecure
How do you keep tabs on a wandering toddler? I hold my daughter’s hand. Some parents attach their kids to tethers. A precious few parents invent new devices to assist them.
Giggle Bug Toddler Tracker by Intelent Technologies is a locator alarm for your child. You clip a ladybug-like tamper-resistant device to your kid and hook a small parental unit to your key chain. When your child goes missing, you press a button on the parental unit. The child’s ladybug emits 85 decibel beeps and the bug’s eyes blink.
Giggle Bug operates up to "100+ feet" outdoors. I’d like to know the maximum range in festival-like conditions â€” flat terrain crowded with people. One hundred feet doesn’t sound like much, though it could be useful for immediate action in a large store.
Meanwhile, SmokeSecure (warning: embedded video) is a different take on the same product idea. It seems to still be under development. Its core feature is a child ankle bracelet that keeps in continuous contact with a parental wrist unit. When a child has wandered a specified distance from his parent, the child’s ankle bracelet begins to beep. As the distance increases, the beeping rate increases.
If you’re still unable to find your child, you press an alarm button, causing red smoke to pour from your child’s leg. Let me say that again. A red plume of smoke goes up around your kid.
I’ll go out on a limb and hazard a guess that a smoke canister unleashed inside a store or subway station, or at a public event, could cause a small degree of public panic in our terrorism-freaked society. But if you’ve always wanted to appear on CNN, there you go.
On the plus side, after you drop a smoke bomb on your kid the first time, he’ll think twice about ever leaving your side again.