Ex-Nokia employees create world’s first ‘trackerphone’, a communication device for active families with young children
Today Haltian, a Finnish design and engineering start up founded by ex-Nokia employees, has launched the Snowfox Trackerphone, a two-way, matchbox-sized portable communication device designed for active families with young children.
The Snowfox Trackerphone device works simultaneously with the Snowfox smartphone application, which is free to download on Android and iOS.
The device itself combines a GPS locator with the voice functionality of a smartphone, meaning parents and children can stay connected while on the move, and parents have peace of mind knowing where their kids are.
Pressing a button on the device sends a ‘call me’ notification to the parent via the Snowfox app. To reply to an incoming call, the child simply presses the same button on the device. Via the app, parents and guardians use the device’s powerful and inbuilt location-tracking functionality. By setting up ‘familiar places’, adults can be notified when the tracker enters or leaves specified safe locations through automated notifications and real time data updates throughout the day.
“Smartphones aren’t practical devices for very young children. Research shows interacting with smartphone screens can be harmful, with the potential to negatively impact speech development, posture and activity levels,” said Pasi Leipälä, CEO of Haltian. “By removing the screen and reducing the size, the Snowfox Trackerphone transforms the way children interact with technology. It not only enables them to remain active and stay connected with family members, it also gives parents peace of mind in keeping their children safe.”
The device was soft launched in Finland earlier this month, however for those living outside of Finland looking to get their hands on a Snowfox, Haltian is launching an Indiegogo campaign, starting today [28 June] and running for 35 days. The target is to raise funds to support the launch and distribution of the device.
“Any backing we receive through our Indiegogo campaign will help us to manufacture in volume and prepare the country-specific data and voice plans within our target markets, explained Leipälä. “We believe we’ve created something really unique with Snowfox; our extensive user studies show some promising and positive initial feedback from families who want to stay connected and active.”
Early bird devices purchased through the Indiegogo campaign will be shipped in October, followed by subsequent shipments in November 2016 as well as general availability in autumn via an international online store. The recommended retail price for the Snowfox Trackerphone is £114 (Euro 149), with the monthly pay as you go plan at £7.79 (Euro 9.90) per month.