Today AT&T announced they'd be the exclusive carrier partner for the FiLIP, the first standalone smartwatch supported by a US carrier.
At NextMarket Insights, we've predicted the standalone market will be fairly significant, in part because of the popularity of dedicated niche watches like children's smartwatches. In 2014, out of 15 million smartwatches shipped, we believe that 5 million will be standalone smartwatches.
We also think children's smartwatches will be a potentially big niche. Here's why:
- A lifeline: a device like the FiLIP can provide a stripped down communication device without all the unnecessary features like apps, texting, etc
- Less loseable: A watch is, let's face it, a lot less likely to get lost than a phone. It's on their wrist, it's attached, and it's probably less likely to be dropped and broken
- It's cool: for all that talk of no one using phones anymore, just try to show your kid a smartwatch and see what he says. I know what mine said: he wanted one really bad.
- Cheaper: a smartwatch is likely cheaper than a phone, and a low-cost monthly subscription model can be bundled into the family plan.
If you want to to hear the story behind the creation of the FiLIP smartwatch, you can listen to our conversation with Sten Kirkbak, who came up with the idea for a kid's smartwatch after losing his son (named Filip, of course) at the mall.
Full press release below:
AT&T And Filip Technologies Team Up To Keep Parents And Kids In Touch
FiLIP, a Wearable Locator and Voice Watch for Kids, Designed to Meet the Safety and Communication Needs of AT&T Customers
DALLAS, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* and Filip Technologies today announced they are bringing FiLIP, a wearable device for the wrist that keeps parents and kids in touch at the push of a button, to the U.S. market in the coming months. Under an agreement with Filip Technologies, AT&T is the exclusive network provider for FiLIP and will provide distribution and billing services for the product.
"FiLIP is exactly the type of device for which we formed the Emerging Devices team at AT&T. Filip Technologies is taking wearable device innovation in a new direction – going beyond the smart watch to solve a real problem for parents and make their lives easier," said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Emerging Devices, AT&T Mobility.
FiLIP focuses only on the features that parents want – location, voice calling, and direct messaging to their child. The parent remains in control at all times through an app on their smartphone, including the designation of five trusted contacts with whom the child can communicate. FiLIP also allows parents to set Safe Zones, triggering a notification if the child enters or leaves a designated area, and features an intelligent emergency procedure to locate the child and put them in touch with family if needed. FiLIP was granted FCC certification in July.
"Our goal with FiLIP has been to create a product that empowers kids to explore their world while remaining in touch with those who care about them the most," said Jonathan Peachey, CEO of Filip Technologies. "With their extensive wireless coverage, commitment to innovation and excellent customer care, AT&T is the ideal carrier to help us bring FiLIP to the U.S. market."
Additional details on pricing and service plans will be available in the coming months.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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4G LTE speed claim based on national carriers' average 4G LTE download speeds. Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE availability varies.