I’ll be honest and just say that I don’t think children below the age of 16 should own any smart devices. Having unlimited access to that level of technology and information can be overwhelming, and unhealthy for any young developing mind. That being said, technology has its advantages too. If instrumented properly, they can be great learning tools, provide a good amount of social interaction/connection, and most importantly, they can keep you safe.
The POMO Waffle smart watch therefore actually makes sense. It’s a smart watch built for children, giving them just the right amount of tech they need in their lives, while also connecting them to their parents/guardians. Embedded with a GPS chip as well as 3G, the Waffle allows parents to know where their youngsters are headed. Parents can create designated ‘safe zones’ where it’s okay for the children to go, be it the playground (read more), or school, or their friend’s house. If they venture out of these safe zones, parents are given a heads up with live-tracking. The 3G in the watch allow VoIP calling, allowing parents and children to speak to each other. Now don’t get me wrong… the POMO Waffle isn’t a paranoid parenting device. It genuinely allows the children to get the right amount of tech into their lives. Kids wearing Waffle watches can pair them to become ‘BFFs’, and can emoji text each other. The watch comes with an alarm function and even a schedule-creating function that allows kids to structure their lives the way they want to and plan their day. It obviously also does the necessary bit of teaching them how to read the time. More important features also find their way on the Waffle watch. An SOS function allows kids to emergency call their primary and/or secondary contact in an hour of distress. The watch even comes with a ‘Take Me Home’ feature that allows kids to navigate themselves home when they go astray. This balance between the tech needs of a parent vs. the tech needs of a child is where the POMO Waffle fits in perfectly.
In design, there’s a distinction between what’s created for adults, and for children. POMO’s smartwatch design may outwardly look like the Apple Watch (which is a good thing because it acclimatizes kids to what the world wears on their wrist), but it takes on a much more playful avatar. The watch body is crafted out of silicone which is a popular material for kids toys and is also great to touch and easy to maintain. It comes with colorful bands that can be placed around the strap, giving the watch a wonderfully playful quality and allowing kids to engage with their tech beyond the virtual element. This also gives them the ability to exercise their creativity and customize their watch to suit their mood or persona.
The POMO Waffle is more of a device for child empowerment than for parent babysitting. Aside from allowing parents to keep tabs on their children, it teaches the kids responsibility, allows them to venture out more often and makes them independent. It helps them socialize and form bonds with other children… and it does all this in an avatar that is playful, colorful, experimental, and creativity-building!
Designer: Kittichai Reawsanguanwong