After child-friendly tablets, it was only a matter of time before manufacturers started zeroing on kids again, this time with wearable technology instead. Though not exactly the first, LG is now jumping into the fray with KizON, a smart band that seems to be built more for a parent's peace of mind than a kid's convenience and enjoyment.
Let's get one thing straight: the LG KizON is not a smartwatch. It is practically a GPS locator with very basic telephony functions, which is basically making a call to a single pre-configured number and receiving one from the same. Its face, though uncomfortably large, doesn't have space to tell the time. It comes in pretty color options of blue, pink and green, with character accessories available, and is water and stain resistant. But those features are all just to coax the child into wearing this bulky device, because all of its functionality rests on the smartphone or tablet of the parent.
The KizON offers the basic feature set you'd expect in a child locator disguised as a fancy wristband. The GPS allows parents or guardians to locate the device, presumably attached to the wearer, though LG doesn't say if the accompanying app, which runs on Android 4.1 and later, has provisions for zone-based location alarms. It does have an alarm, but only a time-based one, notifying parents of a child's location at certain time intervals. The device has a simple One Step Direct Call button that the kid can push to connect to a pre-configured number, again set via the Android app. Parents can, of course, also call their kid, and should child fail to answer the phone in 10 seconds, KizON automatically connects the call so that the parent can listen to the surrounding sounds via the device's microphone.
LG KizON will be launching in South Korea on July 10 before it goes out to North America and Europe in the third quarter. No price tag has been announced as LG is leaving that up to local markets. The KizON is a very basic and large wearable device and is clearly not a smartwatch, or any kind of watch for that matter. If you are interested in giving your child a more interesting, more powerful, but still child-friendly device, you might want to check out FiLIP's offering instead.