Thursday, October 10, 2013

Guardian: Wearable Device Prevents Children From Going Missing

Every year, about 8 million children are reported missing around the globe. In an effort to decrease the number of missing children worldwide, Taiwanese startup BeLuvv has created Guardian, a small accessory that helps parents and other trusted adults keep track of little ones.

Described as “a parent's virtual babysitter” by Mashable, Guardian is a wearable device that can be placed on virtually any part of a child's body as a buckle or bracelet. The Guardian device works with an app that is used to set a safety perimeter and co-guardians for each child. You will get an alert if your child is about to go beyond the safety perimeter. If your kid disappears, you can activate a search immediately from within the app, and everyone who has downloaded the Guardian app will receive an emergency notification. Moreover, you can see which areas have already been searched and will be informed when someone finds your child.

Right now, the Guardian app is compatible with iOS only, but an Android version is being developed. The device is comfortable to wear and waterproof, so it can stay on while swimming or showering. Guardian uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology, which is smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient than GPS. The Guardian device's battery can last for 4 to 12 months, while most GPS trackers have a battery life of 24 hours. Guardian is currently available for pre-order for $24.95; after that, it will cost $29.95 apiece.

BeLuvv CEO Johnny Fong got the idea for Guardian after briefly losing his son in a department store. “I'm always concerned that my children will get lost in a public space,” he says. “I've been thinking about this for a long time.” Fong believes now is the right time to launch Guardian as Bluetooth technology is already ripe.

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