Is there any fear stronger than fear for a missing child? According to the US Department of Justice, nearly 800,000 American children are reported missing every year. Together with Filip Technology™, Porticos has developed a groundbreaking tool that will help parents keep in touch with their children: The FiLIP™. This revolutionary communication device is designed for parents who want to keep in touch with their children but aren’t ready to give kids access to a full-featured phone.

The Porticos team aims for innovation, and that’s exactly what this project required. The idea was to develop an easy-to-use device that could make phone calls, send emergency alerts or short messages, and share and save location-based data. All of the electronic hardware required for those services also needed to be small, portable, and—most important—child proof. According to Porticos’s Medical Team Leader Ken Hogue, size and durability were two main design goals.

“The real challenge of the project was to achieve an item that is the world’s smallest in its category,” said Hogue. “The FiLIP™ has a simple, clean appearance and sophisticated electronics, packed into the smallest package possible.  Every component had to be justified, or it was eliminated.”

The device was recently named “the world’s smallest commercially available communications and location device.” Hogue attributes this award to the “novel proprietary design,” which resulted in two patent applications with Porticos engineers listed as inventors. However, the small, wristwatch-like* FiLIP™ is also durable. It weighs less than two ounces, but its rugged, water resistant design easily fits with a kid’s lifestyle.

A new survey by Parenting.com lists the average age of a child receiving their first cell phone as 11.6 years old. According to the study, over 95% of parents surveyed listed “emergencies” or “peace of mind,” as reasons for purchasing a mobile device for kids. However, giving young children cell phones does more than keep them in touch with parents; it opens them to the world of mobile texts, picture and video sharing, Internet browsing, and more—some of which they may not be ready for.  Additionally, the devices are expensive and fragile, often not built with children in mind. The small-but-durable FiLIP™ is a better solution, because it only includes features that parents would want for their child, and its durability is better suited for kids. It’s a specific product that strives to perfectly match the needs of a specific audience.

Of course, this difficult design work is what Porticos does best: turns good ideas into great products. The challenge took innovation, but the result is a fantastic device that meets a real need. “It’s all worth it to create a unique product that can bring parents peace of mind,” said Hogue.

*Additional accessories provide for alternate wearing and carrying possibilities.

About Porticos — Porticos, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and product development company located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Established in 2003, Porticos continues to produce innovative and effective solutions for its clients and the markets they serve. Porticos, Inc. provides mechanical design, analysis, research and development services to clients including Dell, Motorola, Raytheon, and many others. For more information on how Porticos “turns good ideas into great products,” please visit www.porticos.net.

About Filip Technology™ —Filip Technology™ is focused on providing solutions designed to keep us in touch with those who matter most. Its products combine the two most important elements in family mobile offerings – communications and safety. Founded in 2010, Filip Technology is privately held with headquarters in London and U.S. offices in New York and Raleigh, North Carolina. The FiLIP™ was developed by a global team of engineers and is manufactured in the U.S. in partnership with AMTI.