Monday, June 12, 2006

JupiterResearch: Verizon's Chaperone

Julie Ask at JupiterResearch posts about Verizon Wireless' new kid-tracking service , called Chaperone. She writes:

Handsets are limited, but the Migo is a good starting point. Service is pricey at a combined nearly $20 per month for all of the offerings, but Chaperone (as they've named the service) is the "Cadillac" of kid-tracking services and a great response to Disney's product announcements earlier this year. It really offers everything a parent could want that is economically feasible with today's technology. Our data show that parents buy cell phones for their children in cases of emergencies and for value (i.e., doesn't cost much to add them to family plans) so Verizon will have a bit of a tight rope to walk managing these two priorities.
Ask has the following questions about the service:
  • Why does it always have to be a phone that is expensive and needs to be charged and has to be shut off during class? We've seen watches, wristbands, etc. announced before, but not really rolled out by carriers.
  • What about the kids who want to know where their parents are? My friends with their seven-year old bought the Migo for their kid's peace of mind - not their own.
The second question has me really scratching my head. As a parent, do you really want your kids knowing where you are at all times? I can just picture it. "Mommy, how come daddy always goes to that cheap motel outside of town during lunch time?" Umm, ixnay on the parent locator feature, and while you're at it the industry has to start pricing these services more realistically. $20 is a bit steep doncha think......