Wherify Satellite Child Locator Wristwatch
By Joel Shore
August 28, 2002
much do love your child? More than the dog you’re careful to leash
each time you take it outside to poop? I’ll bet you do. And here’s the
perfect product: a snazzy-looking digital wristwatch for your kid that
just happens to contain a satellite homing device so you can pinpoint
Yeah, it’s a truly sad commentary on society that there’s even a need
for a tracking system like this. But given the tragic fates of several
young children in California, Oregon, Utah, and other locations over
the past couple of years, the need for a device like this is beyond
Here’s all you need to know: The Wherify wristwatch locator may save
the life of your little loved one.
Wherify’s Locator uses the U.S. Department of Defense’s
multibillion-dollar Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network
combined with the largest 100-percent digital, nationwide PCS wireless
To locate your child, simply log in to the Wherify Web site with your
ID and password and view a map. Alternatively, you can call a special
toll-free number and you’ll be told the closest street address.
When you put the device on your child’s wrist, it locks. It can be
removed remotely, with an Internet-initiated command, or by pressing a
particular sequence of buttons on the device.
With a full battery charge, the device can do about 40 “locates.” The
battery charges in six hours, and the device is water resistant to a
depth of eight feet. Depending on environmental conditions, the device
can pinpoint the wearer’s location to within 90 feet, and usually
within 10 feet.
What else can you do? Here are a few features:
Choose Map Style: Select a standard street map or custom aerial
photo. Then zoom in, zoom out, pan right or left for a better look.
Breadcrumbs: Soccer game? Play practice? With the “breadcrumb”
feature, you can pre-set times for “locates” to ensure your child
arrives safely. (Of course, if you do one “locate” every half hour,
you’ll get a pretty good idea of how your child spends his or her
- Unlock Device Remotely: Once your child safely arrives at the pool
party, you can unlock the locator via Internet or phone so your child
can remove it.
This peace of mind is not inexpensive. The Wherify locator wristwatch
is priced at $399,
not bad. But on top of that,
you need to pay a
monthly service fee of $25 to $49 for service. You’re actually paying
for PCS service, but you don’t get a phone. Depending on which of four
service plans you choose, you’ll get from 20 to 80 “locates” per
month. You can purchase additional “locates” for a small fee. Another
factor to consider is the availability of PCS service. In rural areas,
PCS telephone service may not be available. While some might suggest
that the Wherify device is necessary only in densely populated areas,
the watch can also be used to keep track of campers or hikers,
activities that take place away from urban locales.
This product is currently slated to ship in late 2002. The company is
currently taking reservations. You’ll have to decide for yourself
whether it’s worth the steep price. And, of course, there’s no
guarantee that it can prevent tragedy. But the Wherify is a landmark
product that proves that you can buy peace of mind. And that’s a
pretty good start.<