DENVER, Colo. (KMGH) — Children are introduced to technology very early in life. Some parents would say, too early.
But a Denver startup has found a way to build a child's digital experience in an age-appropriate way.
"We have an entire generation of parents saying, 'I need to be in touch with my kid somehow. I don't want them going off without being able to call them. But I'm not sure that a smartphone that is made for adults is the right device for my kids,'" said Michelle Ross, one of Cosmo's co-founders.
Ross was a teacher 10 years ago and saw the need for a family-safe, tech-friendly product with her seventh-graders.
"Kids were honestly just starting to get their first smartphones at that age," she said. "And they were on social media for the first time."
Her startup launched in 2020 with a smartwatch and monitoring app to better control what kids can and can't do in the digital world.
"So, what the watch doesn't have is social media," said Ross. "It doesn't have games. And, it is not connected to the internet. But what it does do is calling, texting, GPS tracking. It has a fitness center, where kids can count their steps and see some of their activity.
"For the youngest kids, their parents are still their best friend," she said. "And, all of a sudden, they have a really sweet way to stay in contact."
Their flagship product, the JrTrack2 smartwatch, also has a camera for kids to take selfies. Cosmo plans to add a video-calling option next year.
"We have the ability to release updates and release features," said Ross. "So, even if you get this version, and we release video, it'll suddenly just show up on your watch."
Parents will have to download Cosmo's Mission Control app. The smartwatch pairs with their phone, and they decide the features kids can use.
"So then, here are the functionalities of options," said Ross, doing a demonstration. "You can add contacts. You can add a safe zone, which is a geographical space that your kid is allowed to go."