NTT DoCoMo launches sensor-laden kids' watch

Humidity and temperature data could prevent heatstroke

NTT DoCoMo's Docotch 01 child-tracking watch has GPS, 3G and sensors for temperature and humidity as well as an accelerometer.

NTT DoCoMo's Docotch 01 child-tracking watch has GPS, 3G and sensors for temperature and humidity as well as an accelerometer.

Japanese parents who want to keep close tabs on their kids will soon be able to wrap sensor-laden 3G watches on their wrists.

Mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo is moving into children's wearables with its Docotch 01, announced Tuesday in Tokyo.

The wristwatch has GPS for location tracking as well as sensors that can relay data on air temperature and humidity. An accelerometer can also show if children are running around or resting.

Knowing the temperature and humidity conditions around children could help prevent heatstroke on torrid summer days, a DoCoMo spokesperson said.

The watch has 3G so kids can message moms and dads. Meanwhile, parents can monitor their children remotely using a related app on smartphones, tablets or PCs.

When paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth, the watch will send an alert if a child wanders off at places like shopping malls or amusement parks.

Manufactured by Huawei Technologies, the waterproof, dust-proof, 50-gram Docotch 01 has a 1.3-inch display and lithium-ion batteries that can last about 72 hours.

It follows other monitoring bands for children such as LG's KizON wearable, but increases the amount of information available to parents.

There are no plans to release the watch overseas, but it could be an indication of how sophisticated kids' wearables will become.

DoCoMo plans to release the Docotch 01 in March. Though it could cost around ¥10,000 (US$91), the price has yet to be officially announced. The subscription service will cost ¥780 per month.

The telecom giant has released a number of cute, colorful mobile phones targeted at children. Its latest, the Kids Keitai HW-01G, has a panic alarm, GPS and a 2-inch QVGA display.

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Tim Hornyak

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