Startup Jio wants to protect children with invisible wearables

Times have changed, and there are few areas of our lives that remind us of this fact more than with our children. Whether you’re a baby boomer or a millennial, there is a good chance that some of your childhood memories involve walking or biking around your neighborhood and playing with your friends – often without supervision.

That isn’t so much the case today. Keeping track of your children, and ensuring that they are where you expect them to be, is of the utmost important to parents. Unfortunately, current technologies require that you send your child out to play with a smartphone, smartwatch, and/or a bulky tracking device that wirelessly transmits their location to your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.

These devices are a distraction for your child, and are easily annoying enough to encourage them to remove it and leave it behind, rendering them useless. Jio, a stealth-mode startup launched in 2015, hopes to change that with their Jiobit wearable.

In a recent blog post, Jio CEO John Renaldi said, “We should be encouraging our kids to be more independent and to experience the freedoms that we had as kids. To do this we need to feel confident that they’re safe –  that’s the solution we’re offering at Jio.”

Jiobit won’t be worn on the wrist

He went on to tell the story about his children and how impossible it was to convince them to wear a watch. Wrist-based wearable devices are currently bulky devices, in part because of the batteries required to power them, their straps and latches for easy adjustment and removal, and of course the electronics required to drive them.  “They’re more or less just taking the smartphone guts and putting it into a watch,” he said.

Additionally, wrist-worn devices are easy to spot. An individual wishing to subvert its functionality could easily find and remove it. This stands to reason that if you’re going to place the wearable on your child for their safety that it be as invisible as possible.

While we don’t yet have any idea exactly what Jio is working on for the Jiobit, what we do know is that it will be a child safety device, almost definitely with location tracking capabilities,  and it won’t be worn on the wrist.

Jio has a team of 12 spread between Palo Alto and Chicago. The team includes designers, marketers, and engineers – each with experience in producing innovative products that ship. With over 150 patents under the team’s belt, this is one startup worth keeping an eye on.

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