The Innovators: Tracking systems to increase child safety

Children go missing every day. Here is a business innovation that can help reduce these tragic events while further driving the economy. Photo: Cranovation

DALLAS, October 14th, 2013 — The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children report that roughly 2,000 children per day go missing. That’s around 800,000 children per year, with only 115 being listed as “stranger abductions”, meaning the child had no previous contact with the abductor.

If “stranger abductions” are such a small percentage of these missing children, then how many of them could be protected with something as simple as a proximity alert? What if your phone would beep if your child walked more than a few feet away in a crowded shopping mall? 

Willie Wu, the inventor of Buddy Tag™, asked himself these questions and created a technology that will help schools keep kids safe during field trips. The invention consists of a wrist band with a chip inside that will connect with an app that’s downloaded on your phone. The app immediately alerts the teachers and chaperones when any child is out of range or wandered away from the group. The wrist bands also have a personal ID and a panic button. 

When asked about his target market, Willie Wu said, “Starting at the conceptualization stage, our development team set out to make BuddyTag simple to use, cost effective, and colorful and fun to wear.  We have designed BuddyTag that meets the needs of busy moms and dads, but at the same time simple enough for teachers or chaperons to use BuddyTag in a big group setting.”

Of course this same technology could be used to track a single child at a sporting event or mall as well, making it a viable solution for any family.

ABI Research, a technology marketing intelligence firm, expects tracking devices and applications to grow 40% per year with 2.5 million units in use by 2017. Insurance companies are starting to encourage usage of these types of technology to track the elderly, children, and those that suffer Alzheimer’s or dementia, and the time may come where this type of technology is even covered by certain plans. 

With that type of market growth expectation investors should be looking for the innovators in the space fast and drive this tremendous potential growth. 

Buddy Tag is set to be tested by the Lovejoy Independent School District near Dallas Texas on October 17th during a third grade field trip. It is available for pre-orders now. 

The Innovators is a series that looks for small businesses and inventors that help drive the U.S. economy despite the uncertainty that exists today.


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Jon Norwood

Jon T. Norwood is a managing partner at Mobile Informers. Jon has over 15 years experience in the wireless communications field and is a frequent contributor at High Speed Internet Access Guide.

 

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