2017 was a significant year for Bangladesh's ICT sector. Tech powered startups like Pathao and Foodpanda targeted commonplace problems and reshaped how we use these services. Looks like almost everything will be controlled by apps in the future. But nothing much has happened in the hardware area.
The Dhaka and Shehnzen based company Orko must have felt that too and recently introduced a hardware based security solution in Bangladesh. Designed to provide parents the power to accurately track and communicate with their children from anywhere using an app and a smart device, Orko's security product couldn't have been better timed.
Styled as a digital watch with GPS and two-way voice calling facility, Orko uses a micro SIM card and a full charge lasts over two days of heavy use. The device is designed to withstand the active lifestyle of young children and does not feel heavy on the wrist. The watches are slim and funky looking. Parents can see where their child is in real time and communicate with voice calls or voice messages.
The Orko app that controls the watch is available for both iOS and Android. The Orko watch can be used in 75 countries with a local SIM card.
The device is available at Pickaboo.com for Tk6800 and comes with a six-month subscription (Tk250 per month). Home delivery inside Dhaka is available and the delivery men are trained to help users install the app and pair with the watch. There is also an EMI option (Interest-Free Installments) available at Tk1133 per-month.
“I am a father of two and I have been using Orko for three months. I am a businessman and I have to travel abroad a lot. It is really hard for me to check up on my children. Last October, I gave Orko to both of my children and I am at a relief because now I know when my children have reached their school, when they have left or where they are playing. No matter where they are, they can send me voice messages or call me if they need help without using a cellphone.”
- Ashik, Gulshan, Dhaka.
“I was approached to test Orko a few months back. I took two. One for my daughter and another for my father who is a heart patient. My father can’t operate a phone properly but using the Orko smartwatch was easy for him. He jogs regularly, that's why he especially loved the pedometer feature, with which he counts his footsteps. Even though I gave my father Orko out of curiosity, it actually saved my father from an accident. He fell unconscious while jogging. Moments before that when he was feeling unwell, he sent me a distress call. I was able to easily locate him with the Orko app and get help.”
- Sultana, Sylhet.
The watch can only receive and make calls from trusted contacts set by the user. This ensures no is contacting the children without their parents' approval. The user can also check call history of the watch from the app.
Emergency distress call
With the press of a special button, the watch can launch a series of calls to emergency numbers continuously until someone receives it.
User can create multiple safe zones using the app over a Google Map like interface. Whenever the wearer enters or leaves the zone, the user of the app will get notified. This allows marking places like children's school and playground as 'safe'.
Everything from a single app
The Orko app allows adding or restricting the number of people who have administrative rights and can track the usage of the watches. This ensures that the location data is not shared with everyone and limits who can make changes to the watches.
The watch has a minimalist design, made with children users in mind. There are only three buttons: one for emergency distress call, one for voice message and one for regular calling to the stored contacts.
Built like a tank
It is water, shock and dust resistant and the battery can last up to two and a half days on a single charge. But it doesn’t look like a tank, it is rather cute and stylish to wear.
Notifies when taken off
If a child takes it off, the watch will inform the guardian after 20 minutes of inactivity. The watch can't be turned off either. Only you the user controlling the app can turn it off from the app. The app is password protected and uses encrypted transmission.