For anyone who knows me and my children, you’ll know we love a day out. We can often be found exploring sprawling country estates, climbing trees and building dens in our local woods, or we might be London bound for a show or a museum. God that sounds cultured doesn’t it? Erm, hold on, adventures also include me acting as referee as my kids throw dried out cowpats at each other on dog walks.
Anyway, recently we've received a WATCHU GPS Smart Watch which has added a whole new level of fun (and safety) to our family adventures, especially for Edie. As well as the basics you’d expect from a standard watch, she loves that her WATCHU allows her to make and receive calls (mostly hilarious prank calls from me, if I say so myself), plus having such a grown-up device seems to have sent her into some kind of secret agent mode. Whilst we’re out and about she can be caught discreetly talking into her watch as if delivering classified information to her underground intelligence agency!
Edie has worn watches before but they’ve never really lasted more than an afternoon on her wrist. But, she seems to acknowledge this one is a bit special compared to anything else she’s had before. Whilst Edie loves the element of fun and maturity this watch has brought her, I feel assured by the extra level of safety it’s allowed our days out. Obviously I don’t ever want to be in a position where I need to legitimately use the watch’s intelligent tools, but knowing I have that option is reassuring. Via an app, I can call her, I can follow her movements and I can even listen in on her surrounding environment without alerting her.
We took the watch out for a test drive recently to Beale Park in Berkshire, and in the safety of the animal park we played an extensive game of hide and seek (don’t worry, despite us being in a large public space, I could still see her at all times - she might think she’s going to be the first female 007 but there’s definitely work to be done yet). To put the watch to the test, I repeatedly used the listening in function before calling her when only footsteps away from her appallingly bad hiding place - cue hysterical laughter and squeals of genuine shock at being found.
Over the course of our day out and in the days since when we've had further adventures, Edie’s found the watch easy to use whilst I’ve found the accompanying smartphone app is even easier to use. The watch offers mature fun for kids, but at the end of the day, there is a seriousness to why it might need to be used, and testing it as we have has given me some peace of mind.
One thing I’ve found is that the watch needs to be charged regularly. That said, it does so much more than a usual child’s watch, such as making and receiving calls so I guess that’s to be expected (and you wouldn’t think twice about charging a phone would you?).
The device comes in three colours (pink, blue and green) and benefits from a simple and subtle design (thankfully it’s not emblazoned with cartoons or superheroes as many children’s watches are). As well as the calls, maps and listening in features, there is also a pedometer and the ability to set Geo-Zones (safe zones for the kids to explore) plus an easy to use SOS function – perfect for when we're out and about and Edie’s been whacked one too many times by one of those cowpats!