Entrepreneur creates smart watch for the elderly
After seeing a mum frantically searching for her child in public, Colleen Wong wondered if tech could keep children digitally connected with their parents when out in public.
Her idea would become Business Techsixtyfour, a start-up offering smart watches for under 12s which didn’t have access to social media or internet browsers but a simple call and GPS system.
Wong's business has grown since 2015, and her creation, the My Gator Watch has now found a new audience – in the elderly.
My Gator Watch has appealed to the older generation as a device to keep in contact with their carers or family, and is currently going through its second round of crowdfunding to rebrand the product.
“AXA [the multinational insurance firm] were looking for a GPS wearable that would allow for their elderly customers to communicate with their primary care givers,” said Wong, who was invited to compete in the firm's 'Staying Independent Challenge'.
“Management teams at AXA saw the potential and benefits of My Gator Watch and we won.
“We have not actively marketed My Gator Watch to the elderly but we have so many parents who buy the watch for their kids who inquire about buying it for their own parents, they opened our eyes to a new but obvious market!”
Wong’s original idea for the watch was for children to keep in contact with their parents without the easy access to the internet that a smart phone would provide.
“Parents are very much in agreement with us in that too much access to screen time such as games, social media and internet is not a good thing,” she said.
“Our target market is parents and guardians of children between 5-12 and they love that the product is simple and offers no camera or access to screen time.
“We love our kids outdoors and active! The allure of games and internet can wait.”
Although the watch has a GPS tracker that can be linked to a parent’s phone, Wong urged that she doesn’t expect it to account for all safety.
“As adults, we buy a smartphone so that we can stay connected to our family and friends and to access information. We don’t think of buying it to keep us safe.
The business now has 12 employees who share Wong's drive to keep people safe with technology.
Wong told BusinessCloud that she pushes a flexible work culture to allow parents to put their children first, and believes it creates the best productivity.
She is a finalist in the 2019 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards “Entrepreneur” category, due to be announced on 6th March.