You'd think that in this day and age of computers and modern electronic gadgetry they would come up with a way to keep track of and locate your kids, wherever they might be. After all, they've got LoJack to recover stolen cars, right?
Well, there is, and it's from a company named Wherify Wireless. Looking much like one of those stylish watches youngsters wear, the GPS Locator for Kids converges the satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) locator and digital wireless PCS cell phone technology along with Wherify's location system (www.wherify.com).
The GPS Locator for Kids lets parents track and determine their children's location no matter where they might be at any given moment. What's especially nice is that you can use your computer to check. You simply go to Wherify's Web site and enter your name and password. Within moments, you can see, within a few feet, where your children are.
If you have more than one child wearing locators, you select which you want to track and then click on the Locate option. Immediately, you are taken to a satellite map of the United States that displays an indicator correlating to the child's position. Each click on "Zoom In" brings you closer. You can click until you literally focus to where you can see the rooftops of individual houses.
In addition, the physical street and the address of the location will be displayed.
Calling up street map
Any time during the zooming you can click the "Street Map" tab on the map page and instantly see the corresponding street map from any zoom level. This is especially handy if you need directions on how to get to the location.
The impressive interactive demo on Wherify's home page shows the whole process.
The GPS Locator watch has several safety features that make the system even more secure. Pressing a button on the watch will lock it onto a wrist; only the parent's electronic key can unlock it.
Parents can also request that the watch be locked or unlocked remotely by the transmission of a signal. If the device is already unlocked, the watch will lock automatically during an emergency. If anyone tries to remove or cut the device while it is locked, an alarm will be activated at Wherify's location service center and the subscriber will be notified immediately.
If sensing danger, the child can press two buttons on the watch to have the device transmit a 911 alert. If for some reason parents don't feel this feature is necessary or if they believe the child is too young to understand the seriousness of sending a 911 signal, this feature can be deactivated.
In addition, the watch's built-in digital pager can receive and store up to 10 numeric pages. Oh, yes, the watch tells time too. The watch synchronizes itself to an atomic clock signal regardless of the time zone your child may be in.
If James Bond had a kid, this is what he'd wear.
The GPS Locator Watch comes in kid-friendly Galactic Blue and Cosmic Purple and sells for $199.99. Because it looks so much like one of those colorful watches so many kids wear, an abductor might tend to overlook the device.
There is a monthly service charge ranging from $19.95 to $44.95 a month depending on the selection of features and services available.
So far, the service works only in the continental United States and Hawaii. Check with Wherify about service elsewhere.