New wearable kid tracker hits Chicago

The panic-filled moment you realize your kid is missing is unfortunately unforgettable. When John Renaldi’s 6-year-old son wandered away in Chicago’s huge Maggie Daley Park for 30 agonizing minutes, he knew there had to be a better way to prevent it from ever happening again.

So he built a team over the past two years, including Chicago mom of four boys, Lindsay Slutzky, to create a tracker that would be good enough for their own families. The result is the Jiobit Smart Tag, a new wearable tracker smaller than an AA battery (and weighs less, too) that pairs with an app to keep kids and parents connected.

Other trackers the company found seemed big and bulky, with a short battery life, says Slutzky, whose kids are 14, 12, 4 and 2. “It wasn’t good enough for us, it wasn’t good enough for parents.”

Jiobit also improves on the tracking abilities because it uses different radio frequencies and a hybrid network, allowing the company to find the best signal even if the family is in a situation with no cellular coverage and the child has gotten too far away, she says. Plus, they improved on the battery life; it lasts at least a week before needing another charge.

Not only would it be great for playgrounds and Chicago’s busy street festivals, it device can work for families with kids with special needs who wander but who can’t tolerate heavy trackers, as well as family members suffering from dementia. The company also is launching a version for pets shortly.

Shipping begins in November.

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