SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A new cell phone, called the Aqua One, is on the market giving parents unique tools to monitor their child’s mental and digital well-being through an integrated app on their own device they can check at any time.
The Aqua One operates just like a normal phone. It can download apps, browse the web, make phone calls, and send text messages. There are no screen limits or built-in restrictions to internet access. The difference, however, lies in monitoring technology and routine mental health checks and actively encourages involvement over limitation.
Three times a day the phone is designed to “interrupt” the child’s phone time for a mental health check. The check includes questions that evaluate emotional, environmental, and mood-based well-being by asking questions that range in topics, from family and friendship relationship quality to general mental well-being.
The phone also records and saves everything a child does while using it. Watch history, text messages, search history, and social media activity are constantly recorded and saved for the parents to view easily and at any time. The phone can even send an alert to the parents if “potentially concerning” photos or videos appears on the device.
Everything is saved and mirrored in an app that the parents can download to their own device. Easily accessed at any time, parents can see their child’s responses to mental health check questions, and monitor what their child saw while using their phone and where they saw it.
According to Cyber Dive, a technology company that aims to make the digital world safer and healthier for children, the idea of the phone is to allow children to explore the internet safely with their parents always by their side digitally.
“Aqua One is designed to help real families facing real dilemmas – from their children’s struggles with depression, eating disorders, body images issues, and attempts at self-harm to the very real dangers of sex trafficking, drugs, bullying, and explicit photos,” said Cyber Dive Co-Fonder and CEO Jeff Gottfurcht. “We here so many real life horror stories from parents that have real life consequences. Our goal is to arm them with the ultimate tool to help protect their children from a digital world that s proving to be more and more fraught with complexities and dangers we could never have imagined even a decade ago.”
Cyber Dive says on its website, the phone is secure and the child’s data is secure. The technology company said it doesn’t see the data and doesn’t share data with anyone, giving parents exclusive access to their child’s data.
The phone is available exclusively through Mint Mobile, and does require a monthly subscription service, which Cyber Dive says requires no contract.