Tchibo Mobil to sell child tracking in Germany

Tchibo Mobil, the virtual wireless operator of the German mail order company Tchibo, has started to sell i-Kids, a child tracking handset on the German market in partnership with the Bjorn Steiger foundation that provides geo-localized emergency services. Tchibo sells the i-Kids handset for €99.95; the child tracking functionality costs €9.90 per month while talk time can be bought through a prepaid card or a subscription starting at €2.95 per month.

Originally developed by SK Telecom (Korea), the i-Kids handset is well adapted to young kids. It displays 4 buttons corresponding to recorded numbers and a panic button that can alert several people simultaneously via text messages. Upon reception of the SMS the parent can visualize the location of their child on a map on its own handset and call back with the i-Kids automatically picking up the call. The solution also offers a geo-fencing feature that automatically sends a SMS to parents when their child is leaving a predetermined area.

Child tracking is getting more acceptance in Europe – especially in Northern countries, but it is still far to be a common feature offered by wireless carriers as it is today in the US. Privacy issues and even health issues – see our article here about France – are keeping child tracking solutions pretty confidential in Southern Europe.

Tuesday, August 7th 2007

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