As a child, I’d wander. My mom would take my siblings and I to the mall, and inevitably my little developing brain would be bored by shopping that did not involve me personally. I would disappear. My mom remembers these times with a vague hint of concern; my sister remembers them with irritation. I just remember clearly the time I disappeared for so long they were in the car waiting, with the car running, when I finally decided to return from my sojourn. Apple’s new Family Setup service for the Apple Watch, which allows you to pair multiple cellular watches to a single iPhone and dole them out to the phoneless, is intended to solve problem children like 6-year-old me.
A leash might be a better idea—and cheaper.
The invasive tracking of children with technology isn’t something Apple invented. There are plenty of GPS trackers and bulbous kid-friendly “watches” intended to let a parent know everything about their child when that child is out of sight. Apple’s implementation of technology takes a more thoughtful approach and seems to come with the respect for privacy that Apple’s made a part of its brand. Besides GPS-tracking, the watch wearer has access to texting and calling, and the phone user can control the watch’s contact list and even manipulate internet access to keep the watch wearer from being distracted if they’re in, say, a school where GPS trackers probably aren’t critical.