News

Tracking Trick-or-Treaters? There’s an app for that

Tracking Trick-or-Treaters? There’s an app for that

TRICK OR TREAT: Apps let parents track their Trick-or-Treaters. Photo: iStockPhoto

By Natasha Baker

TORONTO (Reuters) – Parents worried about letting their children go trick-or-treating at Halloween can download new apps that track children and send alerts when they venture outside designated safe areas.

With the free iPhone app Track n Treat, children send a time-limited link of their location via a phone number or email. This then allows parents to track their whereabouts via a web browser for the next four hours.

“Kids are out and about and their parents want to know where they are, so Halloween is a great use of a temporary location-sharing technology,” said Bryan Trussel, CEO of Seattle-based Glympse, which creates person-to-person location sharing technologies.

Another free app, Family GPS Tracker for iPhone and Android, not only lets parents see where their children are in real-time, but also sends alerts when a child strays outside of an set area.

“With the app you can always be aware of where your children are located, and can call them immediately if they venture outside of the safe zone,” said Michal Ć tencl, the CEO of Sygic, which is based in Slovakia.

Life360, another free app for iPhone and Android, lets family members view each others’ location on a map and keep in touch via group messaging.

“A twelve-year-old might be too young to go out completely on their own, but an app can give them more freedom,” said Chris Hulls, CEO of Life360, which is based in San Francisco.

The app allows users to set up zones and notifications showing, for example, when a child arrives at school, or when a spouse leaves work or gets home.

“We’re trying to build a family graph,” Hulls said. “You have Facebook for your friends and LinkedIn for your work contacts, but what is the equivalent for your family life?”

Recent Headlines

in Local

AG Coakley Sues Ryder Funeral Home

Fresh
photo by Bob Dunn - courtesy of the Gazette

Two more lawsuits have been filed against the Ryder Funeral Home in South Hadley

in Local

Northampton Eyes Plastic Bag, Styrofoam Ban

Fresh
styrofoam cup

The City of Northampton is considering a ban on plastic bags and styrofoam

in Local

Broadside Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Fresh
billnewman

The Broadside Bookshop on Main Street in Northampton celebrates 40 years in business this weekend

in Local

Wonder Not! Bread Fest On Tap

Fresh
bakery bread

The Hungry Ghost Bakery in Northampton hosts its 11th-annual Wonder Not! bread festival on Sunday

in National

California wildfires threaten thousands of homes

Updated
wildfire

Fire crews in the rugged Sierra Nevada region battled against a blaze that has displaced hundreds of residents.