Kids’ smart watches are certainly not new, but they’re getting a lot of attention and interest because children have fun wearing them and playing around with the functionalities, while adults are taking comfort in being able to track where their kids are, and being able to communicate with them any time, without having to rely on a cellphone for this.
The new-to-SA MT30 comes in two colours, and needs a Nano SIM to work. Everything is set up via an app (iOS or Google) on your phone, which is where you can track your child too.
The watch’s features includes calling and messaging (up to eight numbers can be stored), location tracking and geo-fencing, which is a cool tech term that means parents can set a “safe area” for their kids, such as the parameter of home or the school. When your child leaves this zone, you’ll get a notification. And while this might sound helicopter parent’ish, it’s a useful feature (except when your kid is just fetching a ball from out the gate, or getting a lift home from just outside the school and your zones aren’t set to accommodate just outside the perimeter).
From the eight pre-programmed numbers, kids can make and receive calls, and use the SOS button to call for help in an emergency – just make sure that you’ve agreed with your child what constitutes an emergency or else your heart will be skipping beats all the time. They can also send and receive voice messages and messages with emojis to other kids with an MT30 watch. There are also some built-in games for them to play with.
The MT30 also offers up to two days of battery life depending on usage, is water resistant up to one metre, and is IP67 dust-proof.
What I haven’t seen in other smart watches is a to-do list and reminder function to help teach time management and duties, such as a project that is due, or a room that needs tidying up.
The watch is available from Vodacom, on the uChoose Flexi 110 contract for R149 p/m over 24 months. It can also be purchased prepaid from Vodacom at R2 699.