Softbank Introduces a Simple Cell Phone for Kids

February 11, 2011

The “mimamori keitai 005Z”, or the “protection cell phone” (my translation) is set to be released in March 2011. The phone has a crime prevention buzzer built in, and only has 1 button on it.

The display is a tiny 1.2 inches, and was designed with young children in mind. It will also be equipped with a GPS locator that parents can use to find it. In addition to the buzzer, if something happened, the phone would also automatically dial the emergency number programmed into it, presumably that of the guardians or parents of the user.

The phone can be used to make calls, but only calls to pre-approved, pre-programmed phone numbers. Softbank will offer a special monthly plan for the phone, expected to be about 490 yen (US$5.85) per month with a 2 year contract.

{ 2 comments }

1 Mr. S. February 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

It’s a clever product: a good way to tap into paranoid parental fears. The truth on abduction and molestation is the most dangerous people to children… are related to them: rarely strangers. I’d like these in my Canadian classroom so though parents can say their children ‘need’ to have a cell phone in their bag, it is useless for them to reach their friends.

2 jay@newzjapan February 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I’m afraid parents these days, giving in to kids’ fits would just program all the unnecessary phone numbers into the phone anyway… I wouldn’t be surprised to see pre-school kids in Japan walking around with iPhones though.