AT&T recently launched a new child locator service called FamilyMap which lets parents track down their children’s location by using their cell phones. Unlike some of the GPS-enabled mobile social networking/tracking applications, FamilyMap doesn’t require the user (the child) to input their location manually – the tracking is automatic and uses the phone’s built-in GPS.
Once activated, parents can then log into the FamilyMap web site from either their mobile device or PC and track their kids’ whereabouts on a Microsoft Virtual Earth map which even supports Bird’s Eye view. (Bird’s Eye view is that angled view of an area that gives you more detail and context than aerial photos). They can also choose to receive alerts at specified times via text or email. For example, parents could request a schedule check every weekday at 4 p.m. to check on their child’s location.
The service costs $9.99 per month to locate up to two family members or $14.99 per month thereafter to locate up to five family members. This is more affordable than Verizon’s Chaperone service ($9.99 per child) but is more than Sprint’s Family Locator (4 phones for $5/mo).
If you’re thinking its creepy to track your kids like this, rest assured – the service isn’t enabled on the sly without the kids knowledge. Phones being tracked with receive a text message from the AT&T FamilyMap service when they become locatable and will continue to receive periodic notifications via text that they can be located. So really, the service is intended more to be used for safety reasons or just the convenience of knowing where everyone in the family is located, not for stalking or spying.
If you’re an AT&T customer, you can ho to www.att.com/familymap and click the Get First 30 Days Free button to try the service now.
(via Chris Pendleton)