FiLIP is a cool little device intended for a big world. When I think of devices like FiLIP I tend to chuckle about it and the concept of GPS location for your child. Those that know me well, know that I’ve talked about GPS location for my child even before I had one. The concept of knowing where your child’s location was something I’ve talked about long ago. Sure the idea of maybe putting a chip inside my child might have been pre-mature (yes not crazy but pre-mature, just watch it happen), but fast forward to today and more parents want the ability to know the location of their child or to stay connected with them. Sure if they are a teen you could give them their own smartphone with GPS embedded already, and the ability for them to call you. But what about the under 13 year old set (yes I feel anyone under 13 shouldn’t have a smartphone). This is wear FiLIP comes in just perfect!
FiLIP does something wonderful for those who want to stay connected and know the location of their children. With FiLIP you can tracking their location with GPS, make phone calls to them and they to you, but leaves a lot of the control in the hands of the parents where it should be. FiLIP does this in a nice little package that looks like a smart watch. This is clearly Dick Tracy for kids and those kids took to it with their crayon box! The FiLIP device is a bracelet that your child can wear on their wrist and comes in 4 colors: Dragon Green, Rocket Red, Bubble Blue, and Starfish Pink. These sounds like they came from ya child’s favorite cartoon. Dragon Green is the main color you get when you buy a FiLIP, and the others can be brought as accessory add-ons.
The FiLIP is completely rubber and isn’t a closed loop bracelet. The FiLIP is has a gap at one end of the loop which will let your child slip their hand in and out of it. Though the loop doesn’t close, FiLip will not fall off your child. Just be sure to get the right size for them, it comes in Little FiLip and Big FiLip depending on your child’s wrist size. Once you get past the colors and the sizes, there isn’t much else to FiLip. No shiny buttons, no bold designs. Simple, functional, and hey colorful so your child will actually want to wear it. This was tested on my child and though she is a little G Style staffer in the making, she was genuinely excited to wear it when I first showed it to her.
The FiLip does a couple of cool things ins a kid friendly package. For one it is a GPS tracking device for your child. They would put the FiLip on their wrist and then you can get their location when needed. The unit can be configured to updates its location every 15, 30, or 60 minutes. It also has a Turbo mode which will update its location everyone 3 minutes for 15 minutes, which can come in handy when you need to quickly get your child’s location. Be careful though on these settings, as the more often it pings for location the quicker that battery is going to go. I’ve found that I can get the watch to last all day if I have it check once every 60 minutes. There is also safe zones you can create. When you go this, you can get a notification when your child enters or leaves this zone.
Now once we get beyond GPS, there is the phone part of the FiLIP as well. With FiLIP your child can call you and you can reach out to them. But unlike a regular phones, FiLIP can only call or receive calls from the numbers you program into it. No random calls to and from unknown people. FiLip can only call 5 numbers at most and ones you specify. This could be Mom, Dad, and Grand parents. Your child can cycle through these choices and get someone as needed. FiLip only has two buttons on it. Once bigger red one and a bit smaller green. The green will let you cycle through the selections, and the red will trigger a call or hang up. So with this, not only can I get the location of my child, but I can call her to make sure she is okay. Or she can call me to shoot the breeze, or if she was in trouble she could call us and let us know. Another cool feature of the phone happens if your child is in trouble. She can press and hold the red button and it will call every number you have programs into until someone picks up, this way your child can get to someone. All in all some very cool features both on the GPS tracking and phone side, but simple enough for your child to use.
Now in a normal review I tend to take the item for a test drive, but since this is geared towards your child who better that my own mini me. Budding gadget girl, when I presented it to her there was much excitement. If I remember right her exact response was “Ouuu nice!”. Explain it’s operation was easy. I popped it on her wrist, explain what button does what and then laid down a few ground rules. Since I had her taking it to school with her, I needed to explain no calling mommy or daddy while in class or playing with it. She nodded and off she went. Day one she must have counted down until school was out. As the moment school was over she had called both myself and her mother just to say hi lol. She also used it to speak to her grandparents as well, just have a nice little conversation.
During our review period, I noticed for best battery life you’ll want to set it to refresh location about every 60 minutes. On that setting it was able to last a full day, anything less and you’ll kill off the battery before their home from school. When it came to tracking, it was actually pretty accurate. I used it one night to literally track down where she was with and walk myself to her exact location using it’s GPS location.
she happened to be around 135th and 5th in Manhattan and I was able to walk from 125 and Lexington and follow to where she was using just the FiLIP app. Speaking of which that is how you connect to the FiLIP device, make setting changes and see location. Simple UI and to the point.
Quite a few people liked the idea of FiLip, once they knew what it was. One example was my daughter’s school teacher. He remarked that he seen it on her hand and when I explained to him what it was and what it does, he thought that was so cool. During our period with it, both my daughter and I really enjoying using it. There were a few caveats or at least just issues I noticed. First would be though I could program up to 5 numbers into the FiLIP, on the device itself I could cycle through all 5. At most I was able to cycle through 3 of the contacts. Now I’m not sure if that was an error on the device I had itself or a limitation period. But hoping just the device we had, as I would like to be able to cycle through all programmed numbers. The only other thing noticed was when you set the location refresh time (which I set for 60 minutes to conserve battery), on this screen it says but you can manually refresh location. However when I tried to do that, I always got hit with a message saying it hasn’t refresh location yet. So no matter what I kind of had to wait. Not major but when I think of manually refreshing, I think when I select it initiates another location check then vs waiting for its next refresh itself. Other than those two items, the FiLIP works as promised and is simple to use.
If you care about knowing the location of your child, and especially now a days when there have been quite a few news reports about children going missing, FiLIP maybe right up your alley. It will run you $199.99 and only works with AT&T service, which will cost you $10/month. The default color is Dragon Green, so if you want one of the other colors, you need to drop another $39.00 for that. If the Dragon Green is all you need, then yourself.
Hey it beats (for now anyway) my implanting a chip idea, and is a device your child will actually want to wear. They get a cool kid version Dick Tracy watch phone and you get to know where they are, and can reach them if need. Win/Win!