Vodafone launches wearable devices for parents and those with mobility issues

  • Vodafone made a push into the internet of things consumer market last November.
  • Its two new wearable devices could assist people with mobility issues and give children more independence as they get older.
Justin Tallis | AFP | Getty Images

Vodafone has launched two wearable devices that the telecoms giant said could assist people with mobility issues and give children more independence as they get older.

Designed for those with mobility issues, the V-SOS Band is described as an “emergency alert wristband” with inbuilt technology that can send a message to up to four different contacts.

Features include an SOS alert that can be triggered by pressing a button for three seconds to alert contacts. The lens color of the band turns red once the alert has been sent, changing to amber to let the user know it has been received by a designated contact – a family member or friend, for example. When the contact agrees to respond to the emergency, the lens turns green. Additionally, the band uses an algorithm and in-built accelerometer to detect falls, and can also report periods of inactivity.

The children’s smartwatch, the V-Kids Watch, is connected via Vodafone’s mobile network, and allows parents to keep in touch with their kids as they become more independent. It offers a range of services, including location monitoring and messaging. Parents can also set up “safe zones” for their children, such as the boundaries of a schoolyard or shopping mall. If a child leaves such a zone, their parent receives an alert on their smartphone.

“Our growing range of V by Vodafone products and services are enabling our customers to stay connected to everyone and everything that matters to them anytime and anywhere,” Serpil Timuray, chief commercial and strategy officer at the Vodafone Group, said in a statement Tuesday. Timuray added that the new devices would “enable consumers to enjoy greater independence while keeping them safe and secure by being in contact with their families when needed.”

In November, Vodafone made a push into the internet of things (IOT) consumer market by launching the V by Vodafone range, which aims to offer people a number of IOT-connected devices to use in and out of the home.

The European Commission describes the IOT as merging "physical and virtual worlds, creating smart environments."

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