Innovation That Matters

| Photo source KARRI

Child-friendly communication via smart walkie-talkies

Computing & Tech

These walkies let parents keep in contact with their kids without exposing them to distracting screens

Spotted: Today, devices like smartphones and laptops are essential for communication. However, too much screen time can be harmful, especially for young people, and has been linked to depression and anxiety in children and adolescents. But how is parent-child communication possible without screens? KARRI has come up with a solution: smart walkie-talkies. 

As children grow, they spend more time at school or with friends, and it becomes increasingly important for them to maintain communication with parents over long distances. Founder and Managing Director of KARRI Pete Clifford was frustrated with the lack of options out there, having ruled out giving his seven-year-old a smartphone, smartwatch, or basic ‘dumb phone’, because they still make it possible for children to be contacted by strangers. 

In response, Clifford created data-enabled, screenless walkie-talkies that are linked to a dedicated app on the parent’s phones, allowing them to exchange voice messages directly with their children. This communication method means children are always within reach as long as they’re in an area with data or Wi-Fi, unlike traditional walkie-talkies where the range is limited. 

The devices give parents peace of mind by enabling instant communication, as well as location tracking. Kids can also use the walkie-talkies to chat directly with their friends and make plans, helping to foster a greater sense of independence without needing screens. 

KARRI’s devices are not commercially available just yet, but will be soon. Clifford told Springwise: “We just shipped our first 100 prototype KARRI devices for testing to our first test group. Based on the feedback and improvement suggestions we get from them in the next two to three months, we aim to complete our mass-production device near the end of the year [and] ship our order backlog.”

Written By: Joshua Solomon



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