Mobile phone service to track kids

A new service has launched today that allows parents to keep track of their children via their mobile phone.

The new service called KidsOK, which has been endorsed by leading children's charity Kidscape, works by allowing parents subscribing to the service to establish the location of their child's mobile phone within 60 seconds. Rather than making unwanted phone calls or text messages to keep track of their child, parents using KidsOK simply 'ping' their child's mobile by sending a text message to 60777 including the child's name, for example "ping mark". KidsOK identifies the position of the child's phone to within 500m in built up areas using state of the art GSM location based technology, sending a text description and map of the location back to the parent's phone.

"Receiving an embarrassing call or text message from your mum or dad wanting to know where you are is the last thing kids want when they're with friends. Having KidsOK available in stores up and down the country means that parents have a new way to overcome this issue. Now they can use this service to discreetly 'ping' their child instead of calling or texting," says Richard Jelbert, CEO and co-founder of mTrack Services, the company behind KidsOK. "The KidsOK service is based on encouraging trust and co-operation between parent and child, striking a balance between giving kids their freedom and knowing where they are."

The KidsOK pack includes the first year's subscription, three handsets (parents' or children's) enabled and the first ten pings. Larger families can enable further handsets on payment of £4.95 p.a. per handset. Further 'pings' are purchased in bundles of 20 from KidsOK for £9.95. The KidsOK service does not require a PC and there is no need to install any software. Parents using the service need their mobile phones to be enabled for WAP (GPRS) which operators do for free. The UK's four major operators (O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone) have enabled the service but, subject to decisions from Virgin and 3, children's phones on Virgin and 3 cannot be located.

KidsOK mobile phone location packs will be available in over 500 outlets across the UK including selected Arcadia Outfit, Comet Destination, Bhs, Boots, Millets, Blacks and The Link stores at a recommended retail price (RRP) of £39.95. Each KidsOK mobile phone location pack sold generates £1.00 for charity.