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Tracking Your Employees, Children 262

Mattygfunk writes "Hong Kong has launched what's believed to be Asia's first location-based service which enables companies to locate their employees via their mobile phones signals." And in a semi-related story, Son-of-a-Geek writes "The BBC is reporting on a new GPS device for kids from Wherify Wireless. With the new device parents can track junior or he can call for help by pushing a panic button. Available only in the US for one penny less than 400 dollars it is a pager as well."
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Tracking Your Employees, Children

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  • for 399.99 (Score:2, Informative)

    by reshu-wan-kenobi ( 599205 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:33AM (#4076243)
    You too can have a device any smart kid would leave at home..
  • by paladino ( 156081 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:49AM (#4076356)
    If people would read the information provided you would see that the thing LOCKS! onto your wrist and can not be unlocked by the kid. There would be no "leaving it at home" or "putting it were you are suposed to be". It can be unlocked by the parent remotely via the web or with the provided key fob device. Read people Read.
  • Great concept but... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jesus IS the Devil ( 317662 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:49AM (#4076358)
    I had this same idea a while back... but then found the real problem:

    GPS signals are way too weak to be of any use in real-life situations. Go inside a building and the signal dies. Go under some trees and it's one. Heck even state of the art GPS receivers require a 30-second interval to get its initial coordinates.
  • by budalite ( 454527 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @09:50AM (#4076367)
    There is at least one company, SAIC, that has been installing a similar mobile product in American utility trucks for a few years. It tracks the trucks 24/7. Utility Repair/Installation Efficiency has risen dramatically in response. The Union agreed to the idea only, if I remember rightly, after the Utility agreed to include (and require) an emergency call button on a seperate keychain for the Techs.
    (Disclaimer: Used to work for SAIC.)
  • First? (Score:2, Informative)

    by BJH ( 11355 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @10:03AM (#4076467)
    Japan's had phones with similar functionality for at least three years... there's a version for children that allows the parents to find out where the phone is via fax.
  • Re:I get it... (Score:2, Informative)

    by bobthemuse ( 574400 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @10:35AM (#4076704)
    Watch uses GPS to receive location, still needs method to transmit the coordinates back to the parents. I think the article said GPRS?
  • Re:I get it... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Koyaanisqatsi ( 581196 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:31AM (#4077169)

    You're confusing the two techs discussed. The employee tracking uses cell phones. The kid watch uses GPS.

    A GPS receiver tells *you* your current location, and no one else. A cellphone (or other similar device) is still required to report that position back to the control center. That's where the PCS issue comes from: you need its coverage to broadcast the current position

  • by austad ( 22163 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @11:34AM (#4077199) Homepage
    ATT Wireless has this now with their M-mode service. You give friends permission to locate you, and they can just go to "location services" on the phone, and it tells where you're at. It's accurate to within a block.

    Their "find businesses" thing can use it too, so you can find the closest gas station, restaraunt, or strip club.
  • by FJ ( 18034 ) on Thursday August 15, 2002 @01:24PM (#4078196)
    I'll bet Disney & other major theme parks love this. They can buy them by the gross, charge $50 a day and parents can attach them to their kids in case they get lost. It increases safety & makes them money. Everything Disney loves (especially the money part).

    I doubt the average person would poney up $400 when 99.99% of the time there isn't any real concern. I'd be more curious how a 3 year old deals with a device being attached to his/her wrist. Mine would start screaming after a few minutes. He doesn't like paper wristbands from a local amusement park being on his wrist for more than 5 minutes, much less a device which is bulky & he can't remove.

    And for the people who raise privacy concerns, get over it. Kids have no privacy, they never have and never will.

    Before technology parents still spied on their kids. They put a phone in a central location, searched rooms when the kids were not there, watched the odometer on a car to see how far they've been driving. 20 years ago, few kids had a television in their room because parents actually cared what their kids were watching.

    As a parent, the idea isn't to be a friend to your kid. When they are young you protect them. As they get older you give them more freedom. The difficulty is that too much freedom and a kid can hurt themself, too little and they don't learn what they need to survive on their own.

    Sometimes the need to protect & the need to give freedom are very conflicting and, when in doubt, some parents go for the hyper conservative approach.

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