The latest mobile phone from NTT DoCoMo is a sign of the times that parents in even notoriously safe Japan feel the need to employ technology to keep an eye on their children.
The Fujitsu-made F801i will go on sale before the end of the year for around ¥20,000 (£88) and is designed with safety in mind on several fronts. The most obvious crime deterrent is a 100dB alarm that kids can activate in times of trouble. It's accompanied by a visual alert from a high-intensity LED.
GPS to the rescue
On the more high-tech side, triggering the alarm causes a central server to email registered addresses or to send a computer-generated call to the parents. Either way, those concerned about the child get an immediate GPS-based notification of exactly where he or she is.
On top of that, a button on the side of the phone also activates a GPS alert to be sent without setting off the alarm. Should the phone be switched off for any reason, it can turn itself on again after five minutes and send yet another GPS alert. Removing the battery won't help either, as a special (supplied) key is required to unlock its compartment.
The technology doesn't stop there - the 120g F801i comes with a paired tracker device that can be worn like a wristwatch or around the neck, pendant-style. Separating phone and tracker by 10m for more than five minutes results in - you guessed it - an email to the parents.
The phone is also waterproof, by the way, so we presume DoCoMo intends kids to literally take the device swimming and to sports lessons - we all know what happens if they dare to put the thing away or turn it off.
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