If you’re a parent, you’ve been there: One minute your kid is sitting next to you, smiling contentedly at a cartoon on his iPad mini, and the next he’s nowhere to be found. It’s enough to terrify anyone. That’s the scenario the Jiobit Smart Tag, a clip-on tracker for kids, aims to prevent. It’s small, lightweight, fully waterproof, and designed to attach to all types of clothing and shoes. And it’s energy efficient — the Jiobit lasts up to two months on a single charge.
Jiobit is the brainchild of John Renaldi, a former Motorola executive and a father of two. The idea was sparked after a scary afternoon in a city park with his son. “I experienced every parent’s nightmare when I lost track of my 6-year-old for 30 minutes. He eventually found me — he was just off playing — but I never want to go through that again,” Renaldit said. “Parents are incredibly enthusiastic about solutions that can help keep their kids safe and make their job a little easier.”
Jiobit — which is made of a soft silicone material and weighs about the same as a AA battery — packs tech designed to withstand toddlers’ adventures. It uses Progressive Beaconing, a wireless technique pioneered by Renaldi, to improve coverage and power consumption, and machine learning to determine a kid’s behavior, context, and location. A special “Follow me” mode helps track down kids in places like parks, grocery stores, and malls, and a summary screen presents the day’s tracking information in an easy-to-read format.
But Jiobit is privacy-conscious, too. It’s fully compliant with COPPA, the U.S. law that imposes strict requirements on online services direct to children under 13 years of age, and implements the same encryption as chip credit cards. It’s also the first kid-tracking wearable with a tamper-resistant chip, which Renaldi says provides encrypted cloud connections and secure identification for each Jiobit.
Jiobit is available for pre-sale Tuesday in over 120 countries. It will require a monthly fee when it begins shipping later this year.
“There’s so much opportunity to create smart everyday objects that help us live better, or artificial intelligence that helps us to be smarter,” Lior Ron, a Jiobit investor, told TechCrunch.”The next wave of innovation, whether it’s in transportation, health or at home, will come from great teams at the intersection of both. Those are the handful of teams I invest in nowadays. I’m pretty selective because I’m heads down with Otto and Uber’s self-driving efforts.”