Kid Spyware Brings Helicopter Parenting to a Whole New Level

DiscoblogBy Eliza StricklandOct 27, 2010 10:39 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

For those hyper parents who must know exactly what their kindergartner is doing at every moment--including how she's interacting with her peers, and how that will ultimately affect her chances of being accepted to an Ivy League school--here's a nifty bit of technology. Researchers in Japan are testing out a device for kids to wear that gives parents the ability to see everything that passes before their kid's eyes. New Scientist reports:

The technology builds on existing devices that can track the location of a child, but this gadget also monitors what the child is seeing, and even their pulse. If a child's heart rate is faster than usual, it snaps a photo of their point-of-view and alerts parents via email.... A password-protected website allows parents to access an activity log and photos taken during the day.

Seung-Hee Lee of the University of Tsukuba

, who led the team that built the device, says it could help parents find out about bullying or could be used to track down a missing child, but we can think of lots of other handy uses. Parents can find out if their kid's eyes waver from the blackboard, and punish them accordingly. They can find out who their kid has a raging crush on by keeping a close watch on that heart rate. The gadget is currently being tested on 10 children aged 2 to 6, and further trials are planned for slightly older school children. The device's makers also hope to add a microphone and software that will store the child's conversations. As for privacy concerns, Lee scoffs at them. She's a mother, she told New Scientist

, and she'd choose safety over privacy for her child any day. Related Content: Discoblog: Ontario Parents Try to Protect School Kids From Dangerous WiFi Rays

Discoblog: Teen Sues Mom for Hacking His Facebook Account

80beats: School Spying Case: School Accused of Taking Thousands of Webcam Photos

80beats: Lesbian Parents & Their Well-Adjusted Kids: What the Study Really Means

80beats: Generation iPod: Young’Uns Spend 53 Hours a Week Consuming Media

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2023 Kalmbach Media Co.