If you are one of those people who, hearing about “children’s watches,” think of a toy, you are wrong. Today, children’s smartwatches have almost wholly replaced that simple dial that only indicated the time.
On the wrists of children of all ages, we see increasingly smartwatches which, in addition to being appreciated by children, are very useful for parents. These types of watches generally have an integrated GPS location system, which allows you always to know where your children are, and some models also have Internet access.
Here we had listed out some of the best and advanced models of kids watches that are present below.
Everything You Need to Know About Kids Watches
Security: For Them and For You
The best smartwatch for children is the one that does not pose a danger to the health and privacy of the child and reassures the parent. The electromagnetic emissions of our electronic devices are still an open front, so why take risks?
We are looking for products that know how to certify low radiation and able to function far from the vital organs of the body (head and heart in the first place). There are many offers on the market, but don’t be too dazzled by the list of functions and accessories that manufacturers love to flag.
To choose an excellent smartwatch for children, you need to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages offered by some essential functions: a tool to launch an SOS or access a voice chat.
An efficient GPS to track your child and to check that he does not move away from you beyond a threshold considered safe; a messaging system, perhaps based on icons, to send a few but precise reminders: have lunch, go home, snack time.
The safety of the device always prevails over all this: the data must be protected, and the object must not constitute a physical danger for the small user. Finally, the possibility to remotely switch off the device and inhibit its functions, for example, during school hours, is useful.
Need anything else? Probably not, although, of course, much more can be added, in proportion to the age of the child and in harmony with your expectations.
Games and Entertainment
This is an entirely personal choice: do you want the smartwatch to know how to entertain your child during a dinner, a queue at the doctor, a trip on a tram? Compatibly with the dimensions of a clock face (moreover child-friendly), there is a wide range of models that allow you to enjoy simple games.
Some producers were concerned to condition access to video games to the achievement of specific daily goals, for example, minimal physical activity. An exciting and motivating device, which takes into account the risks of isolation and laziness that are implicit in all digital businesses, particularly insidious for the little ones.
A device that accompanies sport, however, could be a valid incentive to move and achieve results. All the models on sale, or almost, advertise camera and microphone for voice recordings, although the quality often leaves something to be desired.
Control and Privacy
When you decide to give a smartwatch to a child, you probably also think you have more control over the content it will have access to, for example, than a mobile phone. Some of these SIM watches can connect to a telephone network and, in any case, receive and send signals.
A few years ago, Germany and, subsequently, the European Union blocked the spread of some models because they were at risk of intrusion and manipulation by malicious hackers.
The fact that these are products intended for children must not suggest that they are necessarily toys. Those who compare prices and try to save are good, but it is essential to remember that this is a communication tool and not a simple pastime.
If possible, better choose to spend a few euros more, if it is well invested in the safety of the device, and therefore of the child who will use it. Finally: your child’s privacy also exists, however small it is. Some watches allow you to hear voices and sounds around the baby without communicating.
How to Use a Children’s Watch?
The watch you are about to purchase for your child may talk to the mobile phone, from which to set many of the necessary functions and to perform the control and communication operations.
The interface of the clock must be within reach of a child, therefore based on images, but also the software that you will have to access must be understandable and straightforward, especially if the Italian translation of the commands is not available.
Our short guide illustrates some general precautions to be taken into due consideration before deciding which smartwatch to buy. And even later.
With Sim or Without Sim>
For many of the products on the market, you will find specified which network, within the GSM standard, is supported. A children’s watch is unlikely to take advantage of 4G and 3G compatible ones are very rare.
In most cases, you will be asked to insert a SIM card suitable for 2G. The numbering simply indicates the succession of generations of the GSM network.
2G marked the turning point of the digitization and encryption of communications, while with the subsequent ones, the bandwidth available for downloading data and information has widened. Although the 2G network dates back to the early nineties, it is not impossible to find compatible SIM cards.
The moment you insert a SIM into a child’s watch, you have to think that it turns it into a digital communication tool, albeit limited. Without it, many of the opportunities offered by these devices are unusable.
The card usually houses behind a flap located on the back of the case, under the rechargeable battery. It would be better if the compartment could only be accessed with the use of a screwdriver.
Make sure that the dimensions of the SIM you want to use adapt to the housing compartment, even if lately the cards are sold in a scalable format, according to your needs.
In the instructions for the use of the product, but often also in the descriptions that are read online, there are clear indications on the type of card to use: mini-sim, microSIM, nanoSIM.
Warning: check compatibility with the telephony networks operating in Italy. Whenever possible, for example, when buying online, ask retailers or manufacturers to suggest a suitable telephone company and inquire before purchasing.
The geofencing function would be one of the most useful when dealing with very young children, for example, four or five years old. It allows you to create a safe area around your child (from the English fence, which means fence): you can establish that he should not move beyond a certain radius, and, when this happens, receive an alert signal on your mobile phone.
For this tool to work correctly, the watch must have a GPS and be able to calculate the position of the wearer of the smartwatch accurately. We know that in theory, the GPS can measure our area with a defect of about 5 meters.
Such a margin of error would be tolerable, but if the discrepancies exceed, for example, 50 meters, it is clear that our “fence” will have a too large hole. Unfortunately, many clocks allow you to delimit an area of not less than 500 meters, and location defects can reach six kilometers.
Finally, the software with which it is necessary to interface to access the clock options should not be underestimated, and it would be better to check if and for what purpose the data concerning the movements and habits of children transit on external servers, potentially accessible to outsiders.
Here is a case where a touch screen is quite essential: children (but now adults too) are used to interacting directly with their fingers even on digital devices. The simpler interfaces, optimized for the small display of a watch, allow you to switch with one finger from one function of the smartwatch to another.
It is an operation practicable by any child, but one should not underestimate the situation of stress or fear in which a child can find himself when he has to activate an SOS message. It would always be better if this tool were activated by a button on the cashier, immediately reachable.
The ability to operate a voice chat, or to make real calls, allows you to relate to someone who is still unable to write and read messages, and perhaps to send your reassuring voice in a time of difficulty. Make sure the watch is waterproof as the “splash resistance” doesn’t give any guarantees.
Think about it: some of the familiar places where you want to have your baby under control are the beach or a large water park, and they’re nothing but splashes!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does the Abbreviation Lbs Mean?
The acronym Lbs (Location-Based System) defines all the localization systems allowed by the connection to the mobile telephone network. Children’s watches are designed to make your child always traceable.
It can be done through the use of GPS, or through, precisely, the methods included under the item Lbs that the operator of the telephone network provides. They can be different, and the list would belong. Not all of them guarantee the same precision and are subject to various variables.
The Cell ID method, for example, is based on the supporting structure of the mobile phone network (hence the name “mobile”). Suffice it to say that, at any time, our phone is tied to a cell under the control of a “base station” of that cell.
In this way, operators always know how to locate, in a relatively limited area, the origin of the signal. With an accuracy that depends on the density of cells available to each telephone operator.
How Can I Measure the Safety of A Children’s Watch?
If we talk about cybersecurity, i.e., protection from acts of technological piracy that allow manipulation or access to the device, it can be verified whether the incoming and outgoing messages are protected by sufficiently complex encryption systems.
The problem of piracy is dangerous, but it must not be addressed in a paranoid way: every day, we expose ourselves to this risk by using cloud storage systems, online e-mail, even by paying the motorway toll by ATM.
It is best not to rely entirely on technology and to explain the risks to children too. Shouldn’t they get candy from strangers? Here, they don’t even have to read or listen to messages other than mom and dad. The most sensational hacking acts have human inattention at the origin and not a technological flaw.