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Founded in 2015, Jiobit brings together a team of seasoned designers, marketers, engineers, and parents with a history of building innovative consumer products. Headquartered in Chicago, with a development center in Silicon Valley, the company’s mission is safety, starting with that of one of the world’s most precious assets – children.
In order to ease the role of parenting, Jiobit wanted to develop a location tracker for kids that is small, gives precise, real time location information, and has long battery life
Jiobit needed a cellular module with a small footprint to design a small, discreet, wearable that would actually stay on and be hidden in kids clothing
Jiobit uses Sierra Wireless® HL Series embedded modules to provide reliable 3G connectivity in a compact form factor with built-in GNSS and global coverage
Perhaps nothing explains the purpose of the Jiobit wearable GPS tracker better than the quote from the company’s CEO and Co-founder, John Renaldi: “In 2015, I experienced the worst panic of my life when I almost lost my 6-year-old son in a crowded park… My search for wearable tracking solutions for kids came up way short – finding subpar products that were bulky, had terrible battery life, and were poorly designed.”
With its unique size, ability to track anywhere, and industry-leading battery life, Jiobit makes parenting less scary. It gives more precise locations, lasts longer, and is always tracking. Jiobit will remember a user’s regular locations, routes, and patterns. It will also identify trusted places, like home and school, without setup. Instead of delivering constant notifications about a child’s location, Jiobit will send alerts only when the child deviates from a normal route or location.
When developing their initial wearable for children, design was of utmost importance. “The bulky technology products currently on the market require frequent charging and can be embarrassing for kids to wear,” explained Roger Ady, CTO of Jiobit. “Whereas Jiobit is discreet and lets kids explore their world while giving parents peace of mind.”
Jiobit evaluated multiple vendor offerings when developing their location tracker, with critical requirements for long battery life, a small footprint, and ultra-reliable GPS and broadband connectivity service. Based on their findings, they decided to start with Sierra.
The small-sized Sierra Wireless module was the best fit for our wearable tracker when compared to module sizes from other vendors, and the thickness was the most critical dimension for us. The HL Series module was also competitive in size with a standalone cellular modem and discreet GPS solution.
After evaluating modules from three other vendors, Jiobit selected Sierra Wireless’ HL Series embedded module to provide highly reliable 3G connectivity with fallback capability to 2G when needed.
“The small-sized and power efficient Sierra Wireless module was the best fit for our wearable tracker when compared to module sizes from other vendors, and the thickness was the most critical dimension for us,” continued Ady. “The HL Series module was also competitive in size with a standalone cellular modem and discreet GPS solution.”
Jiobit is compliant with The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), protecting the personal information of children under 13. Sierra Wireless’ AirVantage® FOTA Edition offers the added security and operational benefit of free unlimited firmware-over-the-air updates to keep Jiobit’s kid tracker optimized on the mobile network and updated with the latest security patches, a critical need when dealing with sensitive information such a child’s location. In addition, the AirVantage® Application Enablement Platform enables Jiobit to easily develop additional APIs and services for their wearables.
The Jiobit wearable GPS tracker offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GNSS (GPS/GLONASS) connectivity, uses an in-house device management system, and utilizes a secure on-board element to encrypt stored and transmitted data. But perhaps the most important feature is the GPS tracker’s exceptional battery life, providing upwards of 30 days of charge, the method for which is covered by Jiobit’s intellectual property.
“The support from Sierra has been exceptional, especially considering we are a smaller company,” said Ady. “Sierra has been very reliable and the experience has been very collaborative, leading to a better product offering for both Jiobit and Sierra as we work out ways to reduce power and improve performance together.”
According to a recent Nielsen Connected Life Report, most people who use wearable technologies are young; 48% are between 18 and 34. “Millennials are now becoming parents and prefer to use technology to solve many of their problems,” said Lindsay Slutzky, CMO for Jiobit. “Before kids reach the appropriate smartphone age, parents don’t have a solution to keep track of their kids when they’re not with them. It’s time for this type of solution.”
The potential for wearables for children is even greater than that for the general consumer population, especially when the child is younger than 12-years-old. The device is always worn, its features are simple to use, and it is not subject to smartphone bans being issued in schools. Jiobit’s technology can expand well beyond a GPS kid tracker, tracking other items of value, such as furry family members.
“It has been a great relationship with Sierra spanning well over a year now. We look forward to working with Sierra to provide peace of mind to parents, pet owners, and others who are concerned with safety,” concluded Ady.
The support from Sierra has been exceptional, especially considering we are a smaller company. Sierra has been very reliable and the experience has been very collaborative, leading to a better product offering for both Jiobit and Sierra as we work out ways to reduce power and improve performance together.
HL Series modules