January 12, 2009

CES WTF V2.0: Lok8u Nu•M8 GPS Child Locator


I've largely ignored CES this year; I find that my interest in baby-related gadgets and my tolerance of trade show hype shrink in direct inverse proportion to my accumulated experience as a parent. Frankly, it's an alarming position to find oneself in, especially when one originally designed one's blog to be "Gizmodo for dads." Too bad.

The word from DT's perennially plugged in tipster Jan is that the Nu*M8 GPS Child Locator from Lok8u was "the hit of CES." Despite the name Lok8u is not a 4chan member, but an actual company, from the Free [sic] World's most civilized surveillance state, the United Kingdom.

And the Nu*M8, according to my fellow Gizmodo wannabes at Engadget, "is said to be the first of its kind created specifically to be worn by children." Said by Nu*M8 publicists trying to drum up excitement among the Google-illiterate, that is.

It's been almost four years to the day since the last "first of its kind" GPS locator for kids was featured on Daddy Types. The Wherify GPS Locator for Kids! [aka, GPSLFK!] was remarkably similar to the Nu*M8. Parents could choose from three flexible monthy plans depending on how closely they wanted to stalk their children. It lasted about a year.

It's a proof of failure of concept that the Lok8u folks had to have known about, and yet they pushed forward anyway. From the comments about the GPSLFK! that accumulated over the years, it sounds like there's a real need for GPS as a last-resort safety device for kids with autism and older folks with Alzheimer's. But so far, that's it. I expect any device targeted beyond that high-needs market is destined for the rubbish bin. At least I hope so.

Lok8u launches Nu•M8 GPS child locator watch at CES [engadget via jan]
lok8u Num8 [lok8u.com]
Previously: GPS Tracking Not Just For Felons Anymore

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