Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sprint Introduces Family Locator

From Kansas City Star Sprint can help track kids

Sprint's Family Locator, will use Global Positioning System technology to let parents see where their phone-toting children are and, perhaps more importantly, where they’re not.

The $10-a-month service works on many current Sprint handsets and doesn’t require any new gear.

Using a small application downloaded to a parent’s phone, parents can log in and “ping” their child’s phone to see where they are. The parent application runs on 18 existing Sprint and Nextel phones.

“It’s not about tracking. It’s not about monitoring,” Dan Gilmartin, Sprint’s marketing manager for location-based services, told the AP. “It’s about giving parents and caregivers peace of mind that they’re able to find their children’s location.”

The service shows the child’s location on a map on the parent’s phone, pinpointing him or her within yards if the phone is outside. It’s less accurate inside, picking up the location within a block or two instead of feet.

Perhaps more importantly for some parents, Family Locator offers the first consumer-oriented geofencing service. The parent gets an e-mail or text message if a child isn’t where he’s supposed to be at a certain time.

"Geofencing", a new term associated with location based services.

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