In the Harry Potter novels and movies, the Weasley family has a magical clock with hands assigned to each family member that move to indicate their current location. Now, scientists have created a real-life version of this clock for use in the home. The "Whereabouts Clock," tracks family members as being in one of four locations: home, work, school, or elswhere. The clock works by using a software program that is download to the family members' mobile phones. The software uses signal information from the phones to determine everyone's location. On first use, the location information must be programmed: as a person arrives at work or school for the first time, they must press the corresponding button in the application. The software then locks in on the signal from the nearest cell tower and stores its ID. Obviously, a naughty kid could easily program the phone to think the mall is the school, so this isn't really the device to use for stealth-tracking of your kids; it's more of a fun way for busy families to keep tabs on one another. The location information is only available on the clock itself and is not able to be accessed remotely, so only people entitled to be in the home have the ability to see this private information. [For more tracking, check out Microsoft's Nagi's Babu Punyamurthula "Where Am I Project".]
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