“Stay out until the streetlights come on”. It’s a phrase that has been replaced by the need to keep our kids safe. In doing so, we’ve created a generation of gamers, smart phone users, and generally over scheduled and over monitored children. In talking to my neighbors I commonly hear that committing children to a life of organized sports and golf lessons before the age of 5 is more about fear than desire to build talent. That’s right. Fear. They are afraid to let their kids go outside, talk to the ice cream man, and generally do anything without constant supervision. I get it. I really do. It’s scary out there. At the same time, children need to feel independent. Isn’t the whole point to raise our little flockings up before pushing them out of the nest? The answer to this problem is near and it lies in the technology that is evolving into wearables and the internet of things. But how?
Family Locators Lack Accuracy
If you’ve tried app based Family Locators like Life360 or Glympse you’ve undoubtably noticed issues with accuracy. That is why I advocate app based technology for teenagers. You don’t really need to know exactly where they are, just generally. However, this doesn’t work for kids. I was excited when Kiband launched as an alternative but Kiband requires that you are within 200 feet of your child. I would call this a virtual leash and not a tool to empower little ones.
What is SaferChild
SaferChild fills the gap in-between virtual leash and semi-accurate GPS technology. It is both an app and a hardware device. It’s the hardware component that makes SaferChild more accurate. The device is a small, white sensor filled component that is shaped much like a computer mouse. Using something similiar to a 3M strip it can be mounted on most flat surfaces. Unlike wearable technology like the React Sidekick, you place the SaferChild device wherever you want a checkpoint. For example, you might mount one on the inside of your child’s locker at school and another in your home so that you know, like REALLY know, when they are there.
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SaferChild works using your child’s phone and Bluetooth. That may be a gotcha for some families as the technology requires that your child is using either an iOS or Android device. Using your child’s smartphone and a free mobile app the system tracks your child to make sure he gets from point A to point B. It works like this…
- ONE: The Smart Locator is placed securely in a safe place by you. It cannot be moved or tampered with thanks to integrated technology that checks to see if the GPS location matches the one registered with SaferChild.
- TWO: The hardware aka the Smart Locator senses movement when your child arrives at the designated safe place.
- THREE: The device sends a check-in notification through your child’s phone to you.
If all the stars are aligned, the automatic check-in process occurs. If any part of the authentication process fails, you will receive an alert.
SaferChild comes with free access to either an iOS or Android app. Through the app you can customize event notifications. You can ask to be notified for all events, only if your child does not show up, or you can schedule events for notification.
Though the app you can also track your child in route using the GPS map feature, schedule locations, see previous check-ins, make a call, arm or disarm parent alerts, and get a quick status update.
How to Get It
The concept is still in the pre-launch phase but the SaferChild team plans to launch on Indiegogo this Fall. If you would like to be privy to early bird discounts and incentives sign up on SaferChild.co.
There is no pricing yet though they do plan to sell a 3 piece Early Bird package and if they meet their target price…it’s a good deal…trust me.