Cyber Dive, a tech startup that focuses on helping parents monitor their child’s social media and cell phone activity, has released Aqua One, a fully functional smartphone to provide an additional tool to keep children safe when interacting online.
The company’s mission is to “stop social media from becoming a social disaster,” Cyber Dive co-founder and CEO Jeff Gottfurcht told AZ Tech Beat earlier this year.
The Aqua One is a custom Android phone designed to provide parents with unlimited parental monitoring functionality. This means that parents can see everything their child does on the device, from text messaging to internet browsing to interactions on social media. Parents can use the company’s mobile app to become aware of things their children may not share and also take proactive steps to keep them safe.
The app is meant to aggregate all the information from a child’s social media profiles and frame it in a digestible way, using things like word clouds and friend-tracking widgets. For example, a parent could check in to see if their child is repeating negative words, like “depressed” or “suicide,” or chatting with potentially dangerous individuals online.
The Mesa-based company, founded in 2019, is built on the idea that children should be taught to navigate the internet, instead of being shielded from it.
“Cyber Dive believes that limiting a child’s smartphone capabilities often leads to defiant behavior,” according to a statement released by the company.
Some of the statistics about children’s online behavior and cellphone use are eye-opening. Derek Jackson, Cyber Dive co-founder and CTO, notes that, on average, children in the U.S. received their first phone at 10 years-old. And Angela Solomon, PsyD, the company’s Trafficking Advisor and clinical psychologist, points out that it takes predators an average of 18 minutes to groom a child.
The Aqua One provides full internet access, no screen time limitations and no app download restrictions, so children are still free to explore the online world with help from their parents. The app integrates with multiple social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, as well as internet essentials like Google and YouTube.
In order to provide parents further peace of mind, Cyber Dive has integrated its Aqua One with the company’s patent-pending Mental Health Check, which has been created with help from in-house clinical child psychologist, Jackie Henretig PsyD. The Mental Health Check asks questions that assess a child’s overall safety, family communication, connectedness to others and general mental state. The Mental Health Check delivers questions based on the age of the child and the responses are presented on the parent’s web application.
Aqua One is priced at $69 per month, with $0 down and no contract. The phone features nationwide cell service with Plum, which will be the exclusive wireless service partner for Aqua One devices.
Aqua One phones can be pre-ordered on the company’s website and are set to ship in December.