FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, April 07, 2006

Disney's Cell Phone Service for Kids

At first blush, it might seem surprising that the Walt Disney Company is getting into the cell phone business. But when you consider that Disney's primary business model is marketing technology to kids (and their parents) -- and that the niche cell phone business is surging -- and it makes perfect sense.

Disney Mobile is a phone service designed specifically for kids and parents (in fact, Disney bills it as "the first mobile phone designed specifically for families"). For kids, the phones have the full range of voice, text, content and picture messaging services. For parents, the phones allow control over who and when children can call. The phones also include built-in GPS technology so that parents can track kids' whereabouts.

Older kids won't appreciate having their calls blocked and their location being tracked, but parents of younger children might find this to be the ideal service, and might appeal to families who heretofore have resisted cell phones. The service might also have a market on the opposite end of the age spectrum, as caregivers could use it to monitor the elderly under their care.

Disney Mobile is scheduled to debut this summer.

Sources: WKMG-TV, Futurismic