Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger is from FiLip, maker of the first smart locator for kids. See how other forward-thinking organizations are investing in mapping technology and transforming their business: Maps are Going Google.
The inspiration behind a company comes in many different forms and at FiLip we have a unique story. It all began the day I lost track of my 3-year-old son at a shopping mall. We found him safe and sound, but those 30 minutes were heart-stopping, terrifying and something a father should never experience.
No parent should ever feel that way — especially in today’s hyper-connected world. Businesses now use mapping technology to monitor of all their valuable assets. Parents need the same tools to protect the most precious assets of all: their children. This is the idea behind the FiLip watch, a location-aware, communication device developed just for kids.
Millions of people today have smart phones with Google Maps already installed. Knowing this, we developed a similarly-sophisticated piece of technology for kids — one with Wifi, a mobile network and mapping APIs that can provide real-time location data. This lets parents see exactly where their children are at all times, on the same Google Maps interface they already know and understand how to use. Kids can also call their parents directly from their watch. By combining voice capabilities with location technology, families have a simple, yet powerful way to communicate.
Because kids tend to lose or forget things, it made sense to develop a product they would want to wear, rather than a device they would have to carry. That’s why we embarked on a whole new frontier — wearable technology.
Partnering with Google gave my team access to developers who have been at the forefront of wearables and data analysts who could help us understand how to optimize location data and get it on a map. Using their insights, we created a product that lets parents keep tabs on their most important possession, while being fun for kids and parents to use together.
My son, Filip, still remembers the day he got lost. Recently, when his teacher asked all the kids what they want to be when they grow up — Filip said he would be chairman for the company his father named after him. I love knowing my products help parents be truly connected with their children. But the thing I love most about my job is developing something my son is so connected to. As a father, that’s a great thing.