Make Your Kid a Spy Kid or at Least Let Him Think So. with a Global Positioning System on His Wrist, Parents Can Do a Little Spying, Too

Article excerpt

Byline: Pam DeFiglio Daily Herald Staff Writer

Pssst! Wanna be a Spy Kid?

You need smarts, courage and panache. And then you need the gear, just like Carmen and Juni in "Spy Kids 2."

In the movie, they sported wristbands with global positioning system technology, Internet access and a cell phone. Just in case their enemies thwarted all that hardware, Spy Dad Gregorio Cortez implanted transmitting devices in their teeth.

That sounds very 2025. But technology is catching up to whatever Hollywood can invent. A similar wristband device went on the market earlier this month. And researchers have a high-tech tooth implant under development, too.

In some ways, the real tools represent an improvement. So much stuff was crammed into Carmen and Juni's wristbands that there wasn't room left for a watch. So while they could navigate through jungles easily, they'd be out of luck if someone asked them for the time.

Real-life spy kids can get the Wherify Wireless Inc. wristband that features global positioning system technology and a pager .

Sorry, no Internet access. But unlike the Cortez kids' gear, it does tell the time.

Wherify calls the watch the GPS Personal Locator. It's targeting it to kids from ages 4 to 12. That explains the color choices of Galactic Blue and Cosmic Purple.

Kids will be thrilled to show it off on the playground. Strapping a global positioning system on their wrists may cause a little swelling of their heads.

But here's the twist. Even though kids are the ones wearing the watch, it's really being marketed to parents - especially parents who are chained to their desks and want to be sure their child wasn't kidnapped after school.

In these times of almost weekly reports of child abductions, many parents welcome the thought of a wristwatch that can pinpoint where on Earth their children are, give or take about 30 feet or so. That's the kind of classified information any spy would covet.

When Mom and Dad want to do a "locate," they log onto the Internet or pick up a phone, and the Wherify Web site or phone operator tells them where their children are. This works regardless of whether you look like Carla Gugino or Antonio Banderas (Mom and Dad Cortez for those of you who aren't "Spy Kids" savvy).

These techno-gadgets don't come cheap. The GPS personal locator costs $400, plus the $25 to $40 monthly wireless service needed to make it work. …