A WRISTWATCH has been designed to let parents track their children and allow them to make contact at the press of a button.
A former paratrooper thought-up the device, which allows parents to use a GPS system to monitor their children’s whereabouts within two to three metres through a computer or mobile phone application.
The watch also contains a sim card which means it can receive calls from a number of pre-programmed numbers.
Acting Lance Corporal Dean Corrigan, 33, from Edinburgh, developed the Loc8er when he was serving in the army as a physical training instructor.
He said: “As a solider I always think about situations on the ground and practical solutions.
“The radio system wasn’t that good for soldiers on the ground when I was in the army and it got me thinking about GPS, which means you always know where everyone is.
“Then I realised it could work for kids, because even if kids have mobile phones there’s no way of knowing where they’ve gone or where they were last.”
The Loc8er was designed to look like a kid’s wristwatch and is expected to launch on the market later this year, retailing at around £120.
The device will not only allow parents to track their children, but it will also alert them if the watch is taken off.
It can also be instructed to be switched off with the child is at school and rejects calls from unknown numbers.
Mr Corrigan said: “It means if you’re on a beach abroad and it’s jam-packed with people and you have that initial fear when your child wanders off – you literally look at your phone and it will tell you how many metres away they are and in what direction, and then you can ring them, tell them where to go and find them.”
But the tracking device has come under scrutiny as child safety groups say it is an “extreme measure” and that parents should communicate with their children rather than rely on technology.
Jill Cook, helpline manager at ParentLine Scotland, said: “While it is right to consider different ways to help keep children safe, remotely tracking them is quite an extreme measure.
“We would encourage parents to talk to their children about where they are going, who they are with and when they will return home.
“People in the community play a key role in protecting children in Scotland.
“Ultimately it is people, not procedures or technology, that keep children safe.”
Around 100,000 children go missing each year in the UK – working out at about one every five minutes.