ZTE and KDDI have announced a smartwatch for kids. Called the mamorino Watch, the device will hit the Japanese market in late March, and will be offered through the Okinawa Cellular Telephone Company.
It has the basic features of adult smartwatch devices, such as a touchscreen (LCD, 1.4″), voice over LTE calling, and even voice command via Nuance Dragon Speech. But it’s also dust- and waterproof, and it comes comes in colorful models and can alternately be worn as a pendant.
While some parents are naturally going to start wringing their hands over children’s exposure to mobile devices, many of those same individuals may also appreciate the mamorino Watch’s GPS technology, which is designed to help parents stay informed about their children’s location. Commenting in a press release, ZTE executive Jacky Zhang explained that the “mamorino Watch will help give parents much-needed peace of mind throughout the duration of their children’s schedules.”
It’s a notable development in the world of smartwatches, and wearables and mobile devices in general. There still isn’t a widespread consensus about whether the Apple Watch, or its rivals for that matter, has been a market success; but if these devices take off among kids, it could signal an important cultural shift in consumer attitudes toward smartwatches.