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Spacetalk – the fantastic new smartwatch for kids

Christmas is approaching, and your child may be asking for a new device.

Deciding when to get them a device of their own is a topic we previously covered in this article. We weighed the pros and cons of providing your child with a smartphone: the safety of knowing they can easily call or text you if they need help, versus the concerns parents should have around giving their children an internet-connection they can take and use anywhere.

But recently, Australian business MGM Wireless have come up with a fantastic way to give your child all the benefits of a smartphone, without any of the concerns. A new smartwatch called ‘Spacetalk’.

We’re always looking for new solutions to the many problems of the online world – so let’s take a look under the hood…


Spacetalk – what it can do

‘Spacetalk’ fits the major features of a phone into a tiny, watch-sized device. This syncs with the AllMyTribe app – available on Android and iOS – which lets parents monitor their kids, and set their child’s Spacetalk settings to their liking.

Let’s take a look at some of the key features:

  • Make and receive phone calls and texts: kids can call and receive calls and text just like they would with any phone. The difference being, Spacetalk puts parents in control of exactly which numbers they’re able to communicate with. This is perfect for keeping the children in your care in touch with you, and a select group of other emergency contacts, without having to worry about other unwanted parties getting their phone number.As an added bonus, if anyone not on the ‘approved list’ tries to contact the child’s device, parents are notified through the app.
  • GPS Tracking: parents and guardians can view their child’s location (and location history). Wherever the watch goes, you can monitor it. This might seem a little Orwellian at first, but for young children, we believe this is a fantastic tool.If you don’t like the idea of watching your child that closely, there’s also a ‘Safe Zones’ feature. This can be set to alert you when your child arrives or departs from certain areas – for example, school and home. This makes it easy for parents to know where their kids are, without having to constantly monitor their location in real time.
  • SOS Alerts: there’s a small button on the watch that your child can push in case of an emergency. This will automatically call an emergency phone number – chosen by you. In fact, you can set up a list of emergency contacts for Spacetalk to call in case the first person doesn’t answer. The watch can also be configured to call the police.
  • Other features include a step counter, torch, alarm, stopwatch and even the ability for the parents to see the weather of their child’s location (no one likes getting caught in the rain).

 

What it can’t do

Just as important as what Spacetalk can do is what it can’t do. In fact, it’s the the features that the developers have forgone that make it so perfect for kids.

For a start, Spacetalk is internet-free. You can’t surf the web, watch YouTube videos, chat with anyone who isn’t in the parentally-controlled contact list, play games, or install any form of social media. Not only can unmonitored internet access be potentially dangerous for kids, but it can also be a huge distraction – making Spacetalk the perfect device for school, home, and hanging out with friends.

If distractions for your child during school time is a concern for you, it’s also worth noting Spacetalk’s ‘School Mode’ feature. This silences the watch during class time to help them (and others in the classroom) concentrate.

Spacetalk puts all the essentials into a small, durable device to let kids be kids without all the bells and whistles.


Great or gimmick?

After our first review of Spacetalk smartwatch, we would have to say that it appears to be a tremendous step in the right direction for kids’ tech.

The only real concern is, of course, the GPS. While this is designed specifically to keep your kids safe, if this was compromised, your child’s real-time location would be available to anyone who wanted to hack into it. Although, to their credit, MGM Wireless have addressed this, and stress: “Your privacy and security are assured – all data is hosted in Australia in highly secure data centres.”

It is our opinion that the creators have put a great deal of effort into ensuring that kids have everything they need to stay safe and have fun, without any of the distracting or dangerous features of smartphones.

That being said, given that this smartwatch has been stripped down to its bare-bones essentials, and doesn’t come with games or internet access, it might not be the best stocking stuffer for you child on Christmas morning…

All in all, we rate this new smartwatch very highly, and would recommend it as a great alternative for kids who need a device of their own, but aren’t quite ready for a smartphone.

You can find out more information, and updates, on the Spacetalk website.