Filip Blog

A little device for a big world.

AT&T AND FILIP TECHNOLOGIES CONNECT PARENTS AND KIDS

Wearable smart locator and phone for kids available to AT&T Customers for $199.99

DALLAS, Nov. 18, 2013Now kids can be free to explore, discover, and play, while easily staying in touch with mom and dad.AT&T* and Filip Technologies today announced that FiLIP, a smart locator and phone for kids that keeps parents and kids in touch at the push of a button, will be available online and in its flagship Michigan Avenue retail location. Starting November 22, AT&T customers can purchase FiLIP for $199.99.

For a look at the inside story on FiLIP, check out this video.

Designed for children ages 5 through 11, FiLIP combines GPS, Wi-Fi, and AT&T’s wireless network into a colorful watch that can be worn to school, the playground, and everywhere in between. For just $10 per month as part of an AT&T Mobile Share or standalone plan, parents have unlimited two-way voice calling so that they can talk or direct message with their children at any time.

Parents can program up to five trusted contacts with whom the child can communicate. FiLIP also allows parents to set SafeZones, triggering a notification if the child enters or leaves a designated area, and features an intelligent emergency procedure to locate the child and put them in touch with family if needed.

“FiLIP is an innovative approach to solving an issue that parents have always faced,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Emerging Devices, AT&T Mobility. “How do you stay in touch with your child, while still allowing them to be free to be a kid? FiLIP is convenient for parents and practical for children.”

“The way that families communicate is about to change,” said Jonathan Peachey, CEO of Filip Technologies. “Modern parents are used to being connected but have few options when it comes to those they care about the most – their young children.Starting this Friday, parents across the country will be able to use FiLIP to stay in direct contact with their kids, either by making a phone call straight to their wrist or by simply seeing where they are on a map.”

For more information on Filip Technologies, visit www.myfilip.com. For the complete array of AT&T offerings, visit www.att.com.

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: SAFEZONES

FiLIP_Social_Safezones_BLOG_800x1200

 

Our children go to trusted destinations every day: school, home, sports practice or perhaps to their grandparents’ house. FiLIP is designed so that it can be set to let parents know when their kids arrive at and leave these destinations. We call them SafeZones.

 

Anders

We can’t always be with our young ones. But we believe that technology can help parents know where their children are and where they are supposed to be throughout the day. This Feature of the Week is about the uniquely designed FiLIP SafeZones. So what is a SafeZone? A SafeZone is a virtual radius that parents can set using the FiLIP app. It is designed to notify parents when their children enter or leave specified locations.

Just as with the Smart Locator, the SafeZone relies on FiLIP’s unique combination of GPS, Wi-Fi and cell tower location, however, this feature also includes our own uniquely developed GeoLocator technology. These technologies work together in order to locate the FiLIP device and notify parents according to the preferences they’ve set.

Setting a SafeZone from the app is easy. You can set one either around the current location of the FiLIP, the current location of the mobile device you’re using, or by manually entering an address. The location you choose will be the center of the SafeZone, and its radius can be adjusted in size from about 25 yards to about 500 yards. You can set up to five SafeZones at any given time. After setting the location, you can adjust the update interval between 3 – 60 minutes to determine how quickly you’ll be notified when your child has crossed a SafeZone border.

FiLIP_Safezone_BLOG_Image_2

The SafeZone feature is one of the many accomplishments we’ve made in developing the FiLIP device and working towards our goal of keeping parents and their kids connected on any adventure.

Check back again next week for our new “Feature of the Week,” focusing on Voice Call, and learn about the amazing phone capabilities of FiLIP.

- The FiLIP Team

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: SMART LOCATOR

FiLIP_social_feature1_BLOG_800x120

 

FiLIP is designed to keep families connected on any adventure. To make this vision a reality, we developed the FiLIP Smart Locator, a unique feature which is a world first in wearable technology for kids.

 

B8399936_SMALL_800px

 

Developing the Smart Locator feature for FiLIP was a challenge because the caliber of technology we needed didn’t exist. Our goal was to create the most efficient and accurate way for parents to know where their kids are, anywhere they go.

First, we looked at GPS, but we quickly learned that it would not suffice alone. While GPS works well outdoors, being able to pinpoint a device within three to ten meters of its exact location, it falls short without a clear view to the sky since it relies on satellites. If we were to use only GPS, the locator would fail in a large city with tall buildings or whenever your child is indoors.

Next, we considered traditional cell tower location. FiLIP connects to cell towers for phone calls, and these towers can also be used for rudimentary locating. Cell towers help locate the device to a general area, but are not entirely accurate.

Since cell towers aren’t precise and GPS falls short in large cities, we then investigated Wi-Fi. There are many Wi-Fi hotspots throughout every city, each of which can be used as a beacon for its registered location.

The way forward for FiLIP was clear: We had to create a new piece of technology from scratch that would give an accurate location both outdoors and indoors. The solution was to combine three technologies in one: GPS, Wi-Fi and cell tower. This is the only way to get reliable positioning in most scenarios , and it is how we ended up with the Smart Locator function in the FiLIP.

With the Smart Locator technology designed, our next step was to make it simple for parents to see where their children are, through a secure connection. To achieve this, we created the FiLIP Mobile App for smartphones.

 

FiLIP_blog_post_app-image_V2

 

The app has been designed to pinpoint the location of the child’s FiLIP device at all times on the map, and has an intuitive interface for simple use.

We’re very proud of the new technology we have created to make FiLIP a reality. We look forward to parents everywhere benefiting from FiLIP’s features like Smart Locator, to keep your family connected on any adventure.

Please look out for our next “Feature of the Week” to learn about another great feature of FiLIP: Safezones.

-   The FILIP Team

TODAY FILIP MADE HISTORY

We are thrilled to announce that FILIP has become the first wearable phone with full voice capability to earn government certification from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). This is the certification that all mobile devices must have to ensure they are safe and legal, and FILIP made history today as the first device of its kind to earn this seal of approval!  

StenPaal_checkingDevice

It wasn’t easy, but it was a must. We knew that if we were to develop a wearable mobile device, it had to be safe, especially since it’s for children. We spared no expense and we took no shortcuts in making a small, safe and reliable product. And it was all worth it. FILIP is a product that we will all be proud for our own kids to wear and use daily. It’s a little device for a big world!

Although many other wearable devices, like smartwatches, bear the FCC mark, none of them have full two-way voice and location capability. What makes FILIP unique is that it can make and receive voice calls just like a mobile phone and provide an accurate location without requiring a smartphone connection, both of which are essential when it comes to keeping parents connected to their young children.

“With FCC certification, parents can be assured that Filip has been engineered to comply with the highest standards of safety in the mobile industry.”

                                                                        Jonathan Peachey – CEO, FILIP Technologies

We have made great leaps in product development and set the bar for safety in wearable mobile devices because we believe that FILIP fills a void in family communications. But it’s not just a gut instinct. We conducted research and found that 70% of parents in the US do not want to give their young children smartphones, yet most would like another way to stay in touch. With the wearable device market projected to grow to 485 million shipments in less than five years according to ABI Research, we knew it was only a matter of time before parents see the benefits of wearable technology when it comes to staying connected with their children in the modern world. That is the purpose we saw for FILIP – to give kids the freedom they need to just be kids, while staying in touch with those who matter most.

Today is a milestone for FILIP, and one more step we have taken to delivering the best possible product for you and your little ones. Thank you to the entire FILIP team for making this remarkable achievement possible.

Get exclusive news and be the first to purchase a FILIP when it is available by registering at www.myfilip.com.

You can read the official press release announcing the FCC’s certification for FILIP here.

To learn about our design and development process, see the post “Where There’s a ‘Will’ There’s a Way.”

Best,

The FILIP Team

THANK YOU FOR YOUR QUESTIONS

We have received a lot of questions about FILIP from parents, and we love it. Thank you for your interest and please keep the questions coming. I can’t wait for parents and their children to experience it firsthand later this year.

 

03_Blog_Top_Image

As we work towards answering every email and comment, I wanted to personally reply to the most common questions in the meantime. You can be the first to know exclusive news, information and updates about FILIP when you register at myfilip.com.

The answers to some great questions we have been asked through social media are below:

Is my child the right age for a FILIP?

We spoke with many parents who said they were wary of giving their young children cell phones for several reasons, including age-inappropriate features like Internet access, e-mail, social media, and the risk of cyber bullying. Additionally, parents believe cell phones are too complicated to use and too easily misplaced by their kids. In fact, nearly 70% of parents believe children shouldn’t have a smartphone until they are 13 years old. But they would love another way to be able to stay in touch. This is why FILIP was designed by parents for kids between 5 and 12 years old, with features that matter most and are appropriate for little ones.

Who can call my child’s FILIP?

You, as the parent, will be in complete control of the FILIP’s settings through the mobile app. You choose the numbers that can be called, and reached by the FILIP. The list is very easy to create and update, and since it’s maintained through an app on your smartphone, it’s always accessible to you.

02_Products_Retouched

How is FILIP secured on my child’s wrist? I noticed a gap in the wristband.

We started with a traditional closed watch-like wrist strap, but overall, children didn’t like it. Since the classic buckle was a little too difficult for kids to fasten and unfasten, they saw the device as a little restrictive. It’s important that FILIP is thought of as a friend, not as a restraint, so we set out to create a solution that would be secure, yet cool-looking and kid-friendly.

The design you see now stays in place on even the most active adventures, but it’s removable when it needs to be. In testing, kids overwhelmingly preferred this design. It will be available in two sizes to ensure an optimal fit, and over time there will be additional accessories and designs available.

Will FILIP be available in my country?

FILIP is launching in the USA in 2013, but with interest and excitement from parents around the world we are looking to expand into more countries.

When is the release date?

FILIP will be available for pre-order in Q3 of 2013 and will be on sale before the end of the year. Register now at myfilip.com to be the first to know when we announce the official release date.

Will FILIP be limiting my child’s freedom?

Not at all. The idea for FILIP started with an experience between a father and son, namely, my son Filip and I. (Click LEARN ABOUT FILIP to see that story.) The FILIP device is designed to strengthen the parent-child relationship by allowing for more adventures and communication together, even when apart.

We are so connected in today’s world, between smartphones, wireless internet and different forms of communication, but I noticed a void when it comes to staying connected with your children. The only option available to me after I had briefly lost Filip was a smartphone or GPS tracker, but neither of these are really suitable for children.

Like all parents, we believe that kids need freedom to explore their curiosity, to go on adventures, discover new things, and just be kids. That is the freedom that FILIP is designed to help parents give their children, while staying in touch, and at the same time giving parents a new window and insight into their children’s lives.

Thank you for all your questions. Please visit the FAQ page on myfilip.com for popular inquiries and additional information. My team and I will continue to address all your comments and questions on the FILIP Facebook page.

Best,

Sten.

MEET OUR NEW TWIN BOYS!

Sten, Filip & the Twins

I am very excited to announce that Tove and I recently welcomed our twin boys into the world.  I can’t put into words how great I feel right now. It’s like the amazement, excitement and joy of when my sons Filip and later Oskar were born, but all at once! I’m sure other parents can relate to that feeling.

After my first son Filip inspired the journey to create our new Filip device, I can’t wait to see what Oskar and my two new sons will inspire! But for now, I’m happy with them just being here.

I will continue to update my blog as developments are made on the Filip device, but the best way to stay updated is by pre-registering at myfilip.com.

All the best,

Sten

New Filip unveiled today!

Nothing will ever make me as proud as the moment my son Filip was born. But I must admit, as we unveil the new Filip design and website today, my pride levels are once again getting quite high!

 It is Filip Technoligies and my pleasure to share the new Filip device, logo and website with parents everywhere.  

New_logo_Post_2

The guiding principle of our design has been simple – Filip has been designed by parents, for kids. We didn’t want Filip to be something parents make their kids wear, but instead, something that kids want to wear themselves. For this reason, we have had a dialogue with children every step of the way, from colors to aesthetic design and function. This is one reason Filip comes in such bright colors!

Before today, the first unveiling of our device was 6 months ago, at the international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Upon sharing the product and design with the technology industry, press and parents for the first time, the feedback was very positive and encouraging. Forbes Magazine listed the device “the best of CES” and said it “could literally save lives and provide parents with peace of mind”.  Over the past 6 months, we have kept pushing to make the product as perfect as it could be. In particular, we have focused on our goal to design as parents, for kids.

Firstly, we have simplified the name. We were originally called ‘Evado Filip’, but we have reduced the name to just be ‘Filip’ (pronounced Phillip). This is for two reasons: Firstly, my son ‘Filip’ is the original inspiration for the device so his name is a natural name for the product; and secondly, we found that children like the simplicity of the name ‘Filip’. Given our guiding focus on designing to kids tastes, we wanted to have a name that kids enjoy and can say easily. To this end, we have also streamlined our company name to be simply ‘Filip Technologies’.

The second development is in the Filip logo. In our dialogue with children, we have found they like and respond to designs that are colorful, bold, simple and a little playful. You can see this in the new Filip logo design, which kids have responded to very positively. At the same time, we wanted the Filip logo to be a design that also appeals to parents, and represents our foundation in developing technology and design for modern families. The speech icon above the letter ‘i’ represents our mission to keep families in touch.

Thirdly, our new website myfilip.com went live today. On the site you can find everything you need to know about Filip like color range, functions and safety. You can also hear from our leading engineers about the unique technology within the Filip device, and press articles which have been written about Filip so far.

If you are interested in learning more, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute news as we approach our USA launch. And if you are interested in purchasing a Filip, you can pre-register to be the first to be informed about the release of Filip devices in the USA.

We are very proud to share Filip with you. We hope you and your children like it.

All the best,

Sten Kirkbak
Founder and CCO

Where there’s a ‘Will’, there’s a way.

The journey to create Filip began with a question I asked myself  – why are there no quality products to keep parents and children in touch? Once I had the idea to create the Filip device, it then posed many new questions. The first, where do I begin? The first year was spent purely doing research to determine exactly what type of product this should be. Once we had a clear idea of how Filip could function, we began an extensive search for leading engineers around the world. We shortlisted down 7 companies from the US, Germany and the U.K.

As we spoke to each company, the common feedback was that there was a reason a product like this had not been created before – because to have the right type of powerful technology, reduced down to the size of a small wearable child’s watch, was near impossible. Hmmm.

But one of the engineers we spoke with was Will Darden, at his US based company ‘Connected Development’, who work with companies in the wireless and M2M market to develop new products. While Will and his team realized the challenges facing the creation of a product like Filip, Will was a parent himself, and saw the huge benefit that it could have for parents around the world if we figured out how to actually make it work. And so we found our engineering partner with Will and Connected Development.

Skjermbilde 2013-06-30 kl. 23.31.47

 To give you an idea of our process to create the technology behind Filip, I recently sat down with Will to conduct this short interview. Will is a ‘rockstar’ in the world of antenna technology, and the technology the team have created to bring Filip to life against tough odds is at the cutting edge of the industry.

Hi Will.  What were the challenges you faced developing Filip?

We faced several challenges in developing Filip, in particular around fitting all of the sophisticated technology and capabilities of the device into something small enough to fit on a child’s wrist. In fact, it was one of our most interesting projects because instead of tackling one technology challenge, we picked every challenge possible, and our first and biggest was developing Filip’s unique antennas.

What is the specific technology that makes Filip such a unique device?

There is a saying that if you’re serious about your software, you create your own hardware. So to that end, we created a lot of hardware for Filip from scratch. To achieve the superior location capabilities that make Filip more than just a GPS device, our team created Filip with three distinct radios and three of the smallest antennas in the world –  which is a lot of technology to fit into such a small package.

It was exciting to push the boundaries of antenna design while trying to maintain the performance of larger antennas. The antenna system in Filip that we created is the smallest and most powerful of its kind in the world.

Tell us about the technologies that you combined to create both a location and cellular enabled device?

Filip is a first of its kind combination of 3 technologies – GPS, WiFi Triangulation and Cell Tower Triangulation. This gives the device extensive and reliable coverage both indoors and outdoors. We had to create software algorithms and test the signals in a variety of locations to find the strengths and weakness for each. This was particularly challenging because we had to maintain battery life, while also providing great coverage and accuracy. After 2 years development, there is no other device the size of Filip that has such extensive location coverage. Of course, we had to accomplish all of this while meeting existing phone carrier specifications which require that the antennas maintain a certain amount of power and sensitivity. For the end user, this translates into making sure that calls aren’t being dropped, and voice quality isn’t distorted.

And while developing this technology for Filip, tell us about the safety requirements you met along the way?

Safety is essential in developing any product. This is why we designed Filip to comply with the strictest global limits of safe exposure to radio frequency energy. These limits are given in terms of a unit referred to as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is a measure of the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone. Filip is compliant with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requirements, and is currently in the process of being certified for compliance by the FCC. We have also designed Filip with a unique feature to only emit radio energy when active, and direct energy away from the child when in use.

Overall it has been a great journey to develop the product. Developing Filip wasn’t easy, but we knew it was important, and we think it was well worth it.

We hope parents do too.

About Will Darden:

Will Darden, Lead Hardware Engineer and Project Manager. Will is an Antenna Engineer by education and has 20 years experience from antenna/RF engineering. He has designed antennas as small as your thumbnail and as large as your minivan. Prior to joining Connected Development in 2010, he worked at companies including Sony-Ericsson, Wavecom, Andrew and Motorola. Will has been awarded 7 US patents and has an MSEE/BSEE from Ohio State in Electromagnetics.

Filip and I

These are a few photos of my son Filip and I. The image on the right was taken when Filip was just a baby, and the images on the left were taken recently on a beautiful day out in New York.

Sten&Filip_1200px

IMG_7980

I believe that the many of the world’s best products are born when people create something that they want or need for themselves. This is certainly the case with my story. 5 years ago, I was at a shopping mall in Norway, with my then 3-year old son, Filip. The mall was crowded and Filip […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.