Friday, September 4, 2009

GPS and Other Mobile Tech Good Ways To Saving Children?

From time to time, we hear about an enterprising owner who uses the GPS on his iPhone on conjunction with MobileMe to find his missing iPhone and capture the thieves red-handed.  Other times, you heard about how a stolen laptop is accessed remotely by the owner to track the IP address and even take photos of the thief when there is a webcam on the laptop.

I love how technology has advanced to a level of sophistication that some low-lives in the criminal world has trouble keeping up.  So, I started thinking about GPS and children.  I posed a question about child safety to a bunch of friends with children recently because of high-profile news about kidnapping.  

Perhaps, one additional features wireless providers and security firms can work together is help parents and law enforcement in an event of a kidnapping or crime that requires location tracking.  I know that are privacy issues regarding such tools and may be misused (though I haven't thought of how that can happen).

GPS is one solution.  Perhaps even a proximity system can be set up when a child strays too far from a location.  In one case last month, three toddlers managed to elude their nannies at a day care and walk onto a train track.  Closer to home, I know of a child who was left on a boat after the child got sea sick and went to sleep.  No one, the teachers or chaperons, had any idea until the ship's crew found him curled up in a corner.  

Of course, no among of mobile technology employed can replaced personal responsibility of the caretakers and appropriate adult behavior when it comes to protecting the innocent.  Nevertheless, I think these tools are very important to aid busy parents and, in a worst case situation, law enforcement.

More recently, I also read about a wrist band that will alert the parent if it gets wet, which may mean a child has fallen into a pool.  Of course, we've got nanny cams as well.  

One that's hotly debated is whether to give a child a mobile phone and when.  And then, certainly what type of phones.  

These are issues that I hope our mobile warriors with children will consider.  Any thought our readers can share with us on child safety technologies would be greatly appreciated.

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