It is not an overstatement to say that the year 2014 is the wearable technology’s booming year. After the merging of countless fitness trackers, wristbands, glasses, now the industry also has something to offer to parents who are worried about losing track of their kids – kids friendly wearables.
Budiu is GPS based smart shoes that track the location of the kids and also alerts parents if their kids are out of the pre-determined “safe range”. Budiu shoes come with a chip that integrates GPS, SIM card and LBS functions, which allows parents to access their kids’ location via mobile app, and also pre-set the range to which they allow their kids to go. The accuracy of the location that Budiu, according to the company, can detect has a 3-15 meters discrepancy outdoors and a 50-500 meters discrepancy indoors.
Necessity, not accessory
Angela & Lucas (Aiyiqi in Chinese), the Chinese wearable technology company that produces Budiu as its first wearable technology offering, wants to make Budiu a kids’ must have, rather than an extra piece of weight on kids. “Every kid needs to wear shoes, but not necessarily wristbands or necklaces” said Gan Zhiquan, the founder of Budiu.
Service, beyond shoes
Budiu positions itself more than a smart shoemaker, surprisingly, also a service provider. Instead of selling shoes directly to customers, Budiu charges a 2-year GPS service (730 RMB in total), at the same time it offers 4 pairs of Budiu shoes and 1 GPS chip for free. This package makes economic sense especially considering how fast kids grow out of their outfits on an almost monthly basis. To make the GPS fee more appealing, Budiu is still in discussion with telecom carriers for a cheaper price.
Platform for social parenting
Budiu app allows parents to not only track their kids, but also interact with other Budiu users to establish a parenting community with shared experience and interests. Budiu views this as one of its differentiators from its competitors to tighten the family ties and thus attract more users.
Angela & Lucas reportedly received 5 million RMB angel investment from TXD Ventures in January 2014. Budiu was subsequently released on crowd funding website Zhongchou, it has raised over 100,000 RMB by September 19th. Budiu is now available for pre-order on its official website.