KiGO Watch for GPS Tracking Review
The KiGO Watch is a simple to use tracking system built into a child friendly watch.
The watch is basic looking and if you didn’t know what it was you would just assume it was a low cost digital watch. It has a colour display, two buttons under the display and a Velcro strap.
The watch comes with a USB lead to charge, with a standard USB connection on end and a magnetic connection on the end that connects to the watch, similar to the way the Pebble smartwatch charges.
The watch has an inbuilt SIM card which is provided by Vodafone and this carries a monthly rental charge of either €6 a month for unlimited connection in Europe or €8 a month for unlimited connection worldwide.
In order to provide location information the KiGO has GPS built in, combined with the SIM card this allows the watch to report back on it’s position providing there is a mobile network connection. It also has a small LED on the front that can be activated by the user for use as a torch if required.
To get things up and running you’ll need to download the companion Loox app to your mobile, create an account and pair the watch with your account. It’s an uncomplicated process and means you’ll be up and running quickly.
The app provides a range of functions, you can request the current location of the watch and, usually, after a few minutes the watch location appears on a map along with your current location. I say usually as there are times when the location didn’t get updates especially quickly, generally when the watch was in a built up area such as inside an office.
The app also allows for some basic communication with the watch, there are a range of pre-set picture messages that can be sent to the watch, and which the watch can send back. For example you might send a picture of a house to the watch to indicate home time, the watch can reply with a thumbs up picture.
Although the watch battery is fairly good and easily lasts a day out there was one occasion where the same couldn’t be said for the mobile the Loox app was installed on, the app killed the battery of a OnePlus 3T. On a normal day the battery drops from 90+% to around 65 – 70% battery, however when testing the app and watch the battery was completely drained to the point where the mobile powered down.
The watch face is blank unless activated to save power and it doesn’t constantly update it’s position, only when required, for example when you make a request via the app or when the watch is turned off.
Position updates are not only sent to the app but notification is also sent via email, handy if you make use of a shared email address with your partner.
In use the KiGO sits comfortably on the wrist, it was tested on a day out with a 2 ½ year old (who was a little young for this) and it stayed in place and was quickly forgotten about. It’s also worth noting this IPX8 rated which means its waterproof up to a depth of 3 meters for 30 minutes, so it’s well suited for holiday adventures.
When you send messages there is a little beep, but no vibration, so it’s easy to miss that a message has been sent. Messages are limited to icons only, it would be handy if you could send some text, for example to say what time you want the little scamp home.
The buttons on the watch were also rather stiff, as an adult they were tricky to press in so a child might struggle with them, they seemed to ease up during testing so hopefully they’d be very easy to use once the watch has been ‘broken in’.
I showed this to parents of a range of ages and while the idea of tracking kids was interesting, the main feedback was that it wouldn’t be that useful on a day to day basis. The example they gave was when out shopping, they know the kids are in the large shop but they can easily slip out of sight. Rather than a GPS location indicating the child was in the shop they’d prefer a basic arrow pointing them in the direction they should be looking. There was also some concern about if it would actually operate in a shopping centre given it was struggling within an office.
They also wondered why they couldn’t see where their child has been, it only shows current position and not historical positions.
The KiGO Watch is an interesting product, but rather a niche one. It’s designed to be more covert than a mobile so it wouldn’t be quickly discarded if someone were involved in your child going missing. Keep in mind that although you get a couple of weeks free you’ll soon need to pay an ongoing subscription for the SIM card, it’s not just a one off purchase.
More information is available from the KiGO website: https://kigowatch.com/en/gps-kids-tracker
KiGO Watch for GPS Tracking Review