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printed December 16, 2017
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Republic Wireless Relay Is a Google-Powered, Walkie-Talkie Phone for Kids

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Dec 7, 2017, 9:00 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Republic Wireless today announced the Relay, a simple, screenless device meant to help young children communicate with their parents and other family members. The Relay is small, puck-like speakerphone with a single large button. Pressing the button lets kids automatically speak and send a short voice message to their parents. Parents receive the message in SMS form and can respond via SMS. The Relay will play the parent's response message over the speaker. Using two Relays, kids can converse directly with a trusted adult or one another using walkie-talkie style communication. The associated app lets parents check in to see the child's GPS whereabouts, and advanced geofencing supports alerts and other notifications or controls with respect to location. The Relay can be put into assistant mode where it can interact with the Google Assistant. Using Google Assistant, kids can speak standard queries or even play their favorite playlists trough the Relay's speaker. The Relay is water-resistant and semi-rugged for protection against the outdoor activities typically enjoyed by children. The Relay will be available in early 2018 and will not require a Republic Wireless account. A single Relay costs $99, but parents can buy two for $149, or three for $199. Service costs $6.99 per month.

from Republic Wireless

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crood

Dec 7, 2017, 10:34 AM

They keep trying this

Pretty much since cell phones became popular in the late 90's, we've seen them try these "simplified phones" for kids that limit who they can contact. In theory it sounds good, but they've never been successful.

Most likely the reasons are simple. Very young kids aren't responsible enough to carry the thing around and not lose it, especially when playing outside. Older kids want a real phone.

Also, now even very young kids play on tablets and phones, even if they are wifi only and parents can easily send them messages to those devices. Add in that parents today simply don't let kids roam nearly as much as in the past to the point kids don't even walk down the sidewalk and knock on a friend's door without scheduling it first, so who...
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