| mTrack, the company behind KidsOK, has launched what it is claiming is the UK’s most accurate child location device - thanks to its use of satellite technology.|
With the festive season upon us and Christmas holidays fast approaching, it’s sad to hear that nearly a third of children living in the UK miss out on playing outside because of concerns over their safety. In an effort to allay these concerns, mTrack is today launching i-Kids, a low radiation mobile phone for pre-teens that enables parents to locate their children down to 20 metres at any time.
| Endorsed by children’s charities Kidscape, the i-Kids mobile comes in a range of colours and is available to buy from £49.95 (inc. VAT) depending on contract when you sign up to i-Kids online at www.i-kids.net. Check national press advertisements and reader offers for further details.|
The i-Kids handset and service is brought to the UK by mTrack, the company behind the successful KidsOK mobile phone location service, and emits only very low levels of radiation, far less than conventional mobiles designed for adults and far below EU safety recommendations. The phone is also designed with limited call capabilities and four numbered buttons, of which three can be allocated to the phone by the parent together with a fifth ‘hunt group’ button and functionality that the child can use to get help at any time.
‘As parents, we worry about our children more when they are away from home,’ says Michele Elliott, Director of Kidscape. ‘The i-Kids phone and service provide a great tool to help parents keep an eye on their child and be able to locate them at any time. Also, as a paired down handset it is more appropriate for the pre-teen age group as it limits usage.’
The i-Kids service enables parents to keep track of their child via the i-Kids phone in three ways: access a map online and on your mobile showing the tracked location of your child’s i-Kids phone which is located by satellites every 10 minutes (no extra charge); be alerted via text message on your mobile if your child’s i-Kids phone travels outside a specified area which you set on an online map (50p per zone alert); and locate your child at any time by sending a ‘ping’ request from your mobile or online. Within 60 seconds you should receive a map and text description of your child’s current or last known location provided by the i-Kids phone (50p per ping).
‘The i-Kids phone uses the latest and most accurate GPS technology available in the UK today to give parents the piece of mind of being able to pinpoint the exact location of their child at any time, anywhere,’ says Marcus Bicknell from mTrack. ‘Britain has the longest working hours in Europe and many parents still feel guilty about juggling work and childcare commitments. The i-Kids phone offers a useful tool to see where their children are at any time and gives the children more freedom to go out knowing that they can be located to within a very small area by mum or dad.’
Children can receive calls and text messages on the i-Kids handset which is packed with useful features. There are four numbered buttons on the handset which enable children to make calls to up to three different speed dial phone numbers pre-set by parents and a fifth ‘hunt group’ button that calls each of the preset numbers in turn until the child gets through to someone. The mobile also gives the child an option to call emergency services directly in the event of an emergency. The handset communicates with the Global Positioning System (GPS) network of satellites that orbit the earth to accurately pinpoint the handset and its user’s location.
The i-Kids mobile phone service conforms to the location based services Code of Practice established in 2004 by the Home Office, the mobile operators, the Police and children’s charities. The identity of parents applying to activate an i-Kids handset is rigorously checked, and the child has to approve the service before it switched on.
The i-Kids phone has been successfully launched earlier this year by SF ALert in the Netherlands with KPN Mobile and in Australia with Mobiles2Go and Vodafone. i-Kids will soon be introduced in other countries in Europe. The i-Kids service and phone were originally invented and developed by the SK Telecom, the largest wireless carrier in South Korea, and the technology has been supplied and commercialised to the European countries by SK Telecom to SF Alert starting from the Netherlands.
The UK release of the i-Kids phone by mTrack should build on the success of the KidsOK permission-based mobile phone location service which enables parents to locate their kids by sending a text to KidsOK to find the location of the child’s phone. The KidsOK system works on any phone.