Wearable Comms from Filip Technologies to Get U.S. Entry With AT&T

10/7/13Follow @jpruth

[Updated 10/7/13 2:13 pm. See below.] Thanks to an agreement announced today with AT&T in Dallas, Filip Technologies got a little closer to bringing its wearable communicators for kids to the U.S.

The smartwatch-like devices have yet to be released, but are designed to be personal locators and phones that parents can use to keep track of their children. Created for kids who are too young for cell phones, the Filip lets parents send text messages and make voice calls to the device.

[Paragraph added with comments from Peachey.] Filip CEO Jonathan Peachey says the multiyear agreement with AT&T is the first distribution deal thus far for his company. Mobile service providers in other countries have expressed interest in carrying the device, he says, but no other agreements have been signed yet. “We’re focusing on our U.S. launch for the balance of this year,” Peachey says.

[Comments added about regulatory approval.] Parents can also designate up to five telephone numbers that can be called from the Filip. The wrist-mounted gadget includes GPS tracking and can alert parents if their children leave designated safe zones. The Filip device in July got some of the regulatory approval it needed for the domestic release. “We became the first wearable mobile device with two-way voice to go through and pass the FCC certification process,” Peachey says.

The deal announced today makes AT&T the exclusive network provider for Filip in the U.S. According to Filip, the device is expected to be available by the holiday season through its own website myfilip.com and AT&T. Pricing and other details have not yet been released.

[Comment added about company's New York office plans.] In July, London-based Filip hired Peachey as its CEO with plans to set up its U.S. headquarters in New York. For now the company operates out of offices in the Chelsea neighborhood, Peachey says, near Google’s local headquarters and plans to move to a new office in the future.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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