TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: 'Mommy, I'm Losing You. Pick Me Up at Brownies'

'Mommy, I'm Losing You. Pick Me Up at Brownies'

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 28 Mar 2005 13:56:31 -0500


If you think there are already way too many people talking way too
much, in way too many places, on mobile phones, brace yourself: a
whole new demographic is about to join the mobile phone-toting army.

Apparently, some parents think it's a good idea to give a cellphone
to their preteen children. And, ever anxious to please, the
technology industry is ready with just such a gadget.

A new company, Firefly Mobile Inc., has introduced a small, colorful,
cellphone that fits comfortably into the hands of kids aged 8 through
12, and is greatly simplified so kids can easily use it. But the
phone is also designed to strictly limit what the kids can do with it
and to give parents control.

For instance, there is no key pad for dialing; out of the box, the
phone can dial only numbers programmed into its phone book and large
direct-dial buttons, presumably by parents.

My assistant Katie Boehret and I have been testing this mini phone,
and we liked its kid-oriented features. Among other things, Firefly
has a 911 button on its side for emergencies and its battery isn't
removable because, according to the company's CEO, kids put their
tongues on batteries.

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