A mobile phone for children called 1stFone has been lauched by a British company called OwnFone. The device can only make and receive phone calls, with no capacity to send text messages or to access the Internet.
Designed to be as simple as possible, It’s lightweight, sturdy, and features as few buttons as possible. It come with 2, 4, 8, or 12 buttons designated for numbers, which are pre-programmed into the phone before it’s shipped out. All designs feature an On/Off button and volume Up/Down buttons.
This isn’t meant to be a device kids will show off to their friends. Instead, it’s there only to be used as and when it’s needed, including in emergencies. It is designed to be a mobile phone for children so that they wont get cyberbullied or mugged, but I can’t imagine any parent giving one to their four-year-old. Even if they did, it doesn’t mean they’re suddenly going to leave them home alone or consider them safe from danger. But if they got lost and scared then why not provide them with the means to press a button and be put instantly in touch with their mother or father?
In a world where most adults have mobile phones, kids are going to also want one. The 1stFone represents an opportunity to allow children to enter the world of consumer technology without having to worry too much about the consequences. This could be a godsend for responsible parents.