The telco scene in Indonesia is definitely one to look out for, as each seems to have stepped away from the usual price war to making new products and collaborations. Yesterday, XL Axiata launched a small GPS device called “XL Dekat” (means “XL near”) which lets parents monitor the whereabouts of their loved ones more easily.
The XL Dekat device is quite small and looks somewhat similar to Tamagotchi. It basically has three main functions: real-time monitoring, notifications, and a call function. Users need to set up their XL Dekat account first with each device purchase. Each device can be paired to three phone numbers.
Keeping track of your loved ones
Afterwards, users can track the whereabouts of the device via XL Dekat’s website 1, which uses Google Maps. Interestingly users can also set “safe zones” via XL Dekat’s site, and determine how big the safe zones are. If the device steps out of the safe zone, users will be automatically notified via SMS. Parents can constantly keep track of where their children are, but some might find the constant barrage of SMS a bit too much.
The XL Dekat device has an “SOS” button, too. If pressed, it will send an SMS to all paired devices with the “SOS” headline as well as the device’s current location.
The device can also be used to make phone calls to three designated phone numbers. But looking at the device’s design, it won’t be too pleasant of an experience when making long calls.
How safe are your children?
Is the danger real? Metro TV News cited an XL representative yesterday as saying last year there was a 50 percent increase in child abduction cases in Indonesia. Sadly, 80 percent of all the cases do not see the children returned home.
Each device costs IDR 1,045,000 ($92), but it will be discounted to IDR 880,000 ($77) for the first two weeks. Each month, you’ll need to pay IDR 38,500 ($3) for unlimited use of the GPS and notifications. Its battery stand-by time is between 12 to 15 hours, which is unfortunately not that long.
The XL Axiata team will focus on marketing the device to mothers in Indonesia. They hope to get as many as 3,000 to 5,000 mothers using it by the end of the year.
Can apps replicate it?
Quite a few apps can already track your location using GPS, but I haven’t found one that focuses on solving the same problem that XL Axiata is looking at.
Indonesian taxi calling Blue Bird uses similar technology. It tracks your current location using GPS, then sends it to the taxi driver to pick you up. While it solves a different problem, there’s a chance we’ll see the same technology used to replicate the functions of XL Dekat in the near future.
The idea of keeping track of people with technology has both pros and cons. But it’s definitely a good thing if you’re a worried parent.
XL Axiata recently rocked Indonesia’s telco world when it acquired smaller rival Axis.
(Via Metro TV News)
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)
The site is inaccessible during time of writing.