As we know, children’s safety is paramount. This is why it’s becoming more and more necessary to find new ways to protect them whilst also allowing them the freedom to grow up. This intersection is exactly where technology like smartwatches and companies like Moochies meet. From such an intersection, things like the Moochies Odyssey Kids’ Phone Watch are born.
If you’re thinking that a smartwatch marketed towards children isn’t the best idea, you might be proven wrong. Although I can understand that if it was coming from a large tech conglomerate, I’d be wary too if that was the case. But in this instance, Moochies is an Aussie-founded company that genuinely has children’s safety in mind, without pushing a commercial angle.
Gizmodo Australia had the opportunity to test out and review the Moochies Odyssey Kid’s Phone Watch. Here are our thoughts.
The Moochies Odyssey Kids’ Phone Watch
- No social media access
- No internet access
- GPS tracking
- Built-in SIM card with 4G (part of Telstra network)
- Free guardian app with parental control ‘safe’ contact list
- Enhanced battery life – 750 MAH
- SOS/Emergency contact button
- Voice and video calling
- Health monitoring
- In-built games
- Step tracker
- Splash proof
- Australian-based server.
Who are Moochies?
The Moochies Phone Watch for Kids, and the wider Moochies company, came about after the co-founder, Ryan O’Neill’s, six-year-old niece ran off into crowds at a shopping centre in the Gold Coast in 2015.
Although it was only a few seconds, O’Neill witnessed the stress that his niece running off caused his sister. This led him to start thinking of a modern solution that could give parents peace of mind that their children are safe without being too overbearing on the kids.
Of course, a mobile phone would be the obvious solution, however, they can become too expensive with monthly contracts. They can also be too big/complicated for smaller children. A smartwatch, then, is the perfect medium as it’s wearable so it can’t be as easily lost or forgotten.
After launching the first Moochies Phone Watch in 2016, they’re now available in several different countries. Now, the latest Odyssey model includes voice calls, texts and HD video calls.
A watch that calls
The Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch for Kids comes with a built-in SIM with no contract.
Through the MyMoochies guardian app, you have the ability to add and remove contacts that the watch can contact. Only approved contacts in this list can text or call the watch and vice versa.
You can also see the complete call and text list that the watch makes so you can be across who your child is talking to and when.
As the watch can make both phone and video calls, and it also has texting abilities, it’s smart to have a general overview of who is contacting your kid. Should, god forbid, somebody message or call your child that shouldn’t, or something doesn’t feel right, you can have the clarity without seeming too overbearing.
Having a smartwatch like the Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch allows for trust to be built between a child and a guardian or parent, especially before they move into high school and get phones.
In this day and age, it’s getting increasingly harder to limit access and exposure to technology, so it’s great to see a device that allows kids to keep in contact with their parents and friends without the risk of having access to the internet or social media.
For the watch to work, you’ll have to purchase a plan and activate your pre-installed SIM. You can find the plans on the Moochies website.
Plans range from $14.95 to $24.95 per month depending on what coverage you want. They can be cancelled at any time, which is convenient.
Back to school safety
As the Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch is marketed towards children aged 4-12, it seems perfect for primary school kids who walk to/from school or have extra-curricular activities.
This watch is not only practical, but it’s also keeping children safe, which is a massive benefit. It’s also probably not as distracting as a phone would be in class.
From my time with the Odyssey Phone Watch, I could tell that there was genuine care and effort that had gone into the watch, particularly in relation to making sure kids stay safe but still have fun.
Even though the watch has 4G capabilities, you actually can’t access the internet or online browsers so there’s peace of mind that they won’t access anything they shouldn’t.
Geo-fencing and GPS tracking
Through the MyMoochies app, you can set up geo-fencing on the Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch, allowing for greater reassurance that your child is safe and where they should be.
Should the phone watch leave the establish geo-fence boundaries (say the child’s school, your house, friends’ houses etc.), an automatic alert will be sent to the guardian’s phone.
Features like geo-fencing show me that technology does have a place in helping advance children’s safety, especially when there are many critics that are scared, or just miseducated, of what devices like these can bring.
Sure, technology that’s used incorrectly or with ill intent will have adverse outcomes, but having the knowledge that your child has a powerful watch where its main function is to keep them safe would give me a lot of peace of mind.
It also allows children to ease into the very large (and complicated) world of smartwatches, phones and other devices.
Within the app, you can also see the real-time GPS location of the watch and a log of where it’s been.
Should your child go missing or be unaccounted for (again, god forbid), then you’ll be able to quickly see the whereabouts of the watch’s last location.
Cute but chunky design
The main thing that excited me about the Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch was the design.
In fact, for the newest range of Odyssey watches, they’ve collaborated with Hasbro to create branded watches. From Transformers to My Little Pony, the designs are very cute and I’m very obsessed with them.
I, obviously, chose the My Little Pony option because, duh.
The watch is not made for a 21-year-old wrist so it was a little tight but I made it work.
As you can see, the Odyssey Phone Watch is a little chunkier and feels a little more than other smartwatches but I can understand why.
It has to be durable and cute for its intended audience (children), and that’s exactly what it is. You don’t want a kid, who will probably run around, fall over and bang it on things, to be wearing a sleek watch. You want it to last.
Moochies also works with RePurpose Global to offset its plastic footprint and all their products are certified plastic-neutral. According to their website, this is to provide a better world for our kids to live in, which is nice.
Also, according to Moochies, all traffic between the app, the Moochies Phone Watch and their servers where the data is stored, is secured and encrypted.
I struggled to find any fault with the Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch.
From powerful protection technology to simple-to-use design, it’s the perfect watch for children.
I’m a very strong advocate for children’s safety online but without imposing too many restrictions on them and it seems like Moochies share the same ideals.
For parents or guardians who are still weary of giving their young children a mobile phone, the Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch is exactly what you’re looking for.
Where to buy the Moochies Odyssey Phone Watch
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