Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life360: Keeping Families Together Through Technology

Based in downtown San Francisco, Life360 helps keep families connected even when they're apart. The app is “part location, part communication,” with features such as messaging, location sharing, check-ins, and more. With Life360, family members no longer have to ask and answer, “Where are you?” and “Did you arrive okay?” several times a day. You simply open the Life360 map to see where everyone else is. Likewise, you check in with the app to let the rest of the family know that you had made it to your destination. Favorite locations can be saved so you don't have to check in every single time. In case of emergencies, an alert button sends an email, voice mail, and text message to everyone immediately.

Groups on Life360 are organized into circles, which require an invite to join. A family circle is created by default, but you can add more for the other people in your life. Create a circle for aunts and uncles, close friends, babysitters and dog walkers, the Little League team... You get the idea. Only circle members can see each other's messages and locations, and circle creators get to decide who's invited, who stays, and who goes.

Life360 is available on iOS and Android for free. There's also a premium version that comes with a host of extra features. One of them is a 24/7 life advisor, a real person who can direct emergency responders to your exact location, access your emergency profile, and provide personalized crisis care. Premium users also get $100 stolen phone protection, extended history, unlimited places, and unlimited location lookups – even friends and family members without smartphones can be located. Life360 Premium costs $5 per month or $50 per year.

Life360 has received numerous awards over the years, including the Google Android Developer Challenge Grand Prize, About.com Readers' Choice Award, Webby People's Voice Award, and more.

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