Republic Wireless may be known as a prepaid service provider, but today the company introduced a new piece of hardware.
Relay is a new cellphone for kids that's different from a traditional phone in that it doesn't have a screen. The Relay is 2" x 2" and includes 4G LTE and Wi-Fi support, all-day battery life, and GPS to allow parents to keep tabs on their kids. The body of the Relay is described as durable and water-resistant so that it can stand up to a kid's abuse.
A Relay app for Android, iOS devices allows parents to communicate with their kid's Relay device. There's a single button on the Relay so your kid can just press a button to talk, much like a walkie-talkie. Just set up a channel to connect your Relay with another Relay or the Relay app on your phone, press the button, and start talking.
These channels will also enable new features to be added to Relay in the future. Coming soon to Relay devices is the ability to play music on the device, games that include a voice changer and trivia, and the Google Assistant.
You can buy a Relay right now, with pricing starting at $99 for a single unit, $149 for two devices, or $199 for three Relays. Color options include Blueberry, Charcoal, Mint, Slate, and Brick.
After you've purchased your Relay, you'll pay $6.99 per month per Relay for service.
The Relay is an interesting device for parents that want to stay connected to their kids. Like a walkie-talkie, it offers easy controls that'll let you talk to someone else with the press of a button, but its support for 4G LTE and Wi-Fi means that the range is much better than a walkie-talkie. For parents concerned about addiction to screens and smartphones, the Relay is an option worth considering since it has no display.