IT might seem like a flashback to the 1960s and cartoons including Dick Tracy, but children will soon be speaking into their watches if Jason Short has anything to do with it.
The Fishermans Paradise man has started importing watch phones and hopes they will become a key safety tool for children and the elderly.
The watches can be programmed to call three pre-set phone numbers at the touch of a button, ringing each one in turn until someone answers.
Jason said he started importing and selling the watch phones because of concerns about the number of children being approached or followed by strangers.
Realising panicking children often did not think to reach for mobile phones, if they had them, while running, he started bringing in the watches which would be easier to connect with a parent at the simple push of a button on the side.
“My main focus is to protect children as much as I can,” Jason said.
“It’s a little bit of extra protection, just in case someone does try to grab a child.
“If something happens they just push a button and within four or five seconds they are talking to their parents or someone else who can help.”
Jason said he understood the concern many parents felt about continuing reports of children being approached by strangers.
“My girls are precious to me, that’s why they have the watches,” he explained.
But the applications went beyond the simple stranger danger and concerns about children being approached by adults, Jason said.
Watch phones were also valuable tools for children suffering chronic health conditions such as asthma, who could easily contact a parent when needed, he said.
They could also be important to elderly people who were vulnerable to falls, with Jason citing cases on elderly people being left outside in the cold, injured and on their own after a fall, unable to reach personal alarms or telephones left inside.
“I think this is a really exciting thing for parents, and people with elderly parents,” Jason said.
The watches come complete with SIM and SD card slots, along with micro USB ports, with smartphone versions arriving soon.
For more details check the website www.aussiesafekids.com.au.