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China's Qihoo unveils kids' smart watch for nosy parents

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Controversial Chinese web and AV firm Qihoo 360 has entered the smart watch market with a new device aimed at paranoid parents who want to track their children’s whereabouts.

The wrist-mounted gadget has been designed to “help parents protect their children from human trafficking and other tragic accidents”, Qihoo founder Zhou Hongyi told the China Daily.

Parents who download the associated app from the Qihoo 360 site can see where their children are in real-time with the watch – or at least where their kids might have left the device.

Alerts can also be set up to notify parents if their child strays from their usual route home after school – putting paid to any non-approved extra-curricular activities they might have ideas about.

Parents can also remotely switch on an audio recording function which can apparently send 15-second messages back home – a feature which will doubtless make kids very, very happy with their parents.

The smart watch is said to be aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 13 years old, although it’s hard to imagine why those at the lower end would be wandering the streets of downtown Beijing on their own.

That said, child trafficking is a major problem in China, exacerbated by the country’s one-child policy which has led to a shortage of women to marry.

In September, police rescued 92 kidnapped children in 11 provinces across the country and arrested 300 suspects, according to Reuters.

Chinese parents have also been reported as selling their children for cash to spend on designer gear.

The Qihoo 360 smart watch is said to be hitting the shelves in China later this year for around 200 yuan (£20).

It should be noted that the Chinese effort is not the first aimed at concerned/nosy parents. Earlier this year Norwegian firm Filip Technologies claimed a world first with its "locator and voice watch" for kids. ®

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