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A Wireless Service for Family Safety

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A wireless service for family safety. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Wherify started out as a company selling a GPS locator watch for children. Parents, paying monthly subscription fees, could go onto a Web site to see where there children were. It couldn't quite make it in the market and was discontinued last year. But the company is back…this time with the Wherifone. The idea is similar….but this time…it's in the form of a small cell phone for children…that includes GPS and parental tracking. Wherify's John Cunningham…

"Well we think probably most kids who would use it are in the ages of seven to ten. And we're thinking of cost and security in the design of this phone. A parent would go to a retailer, they'd go to our Web site or an e-tailer Web site. Once they've bought the phone and activated the account, they manage most of the functions of the phone through the Web. It's very easy to use. They go to their secure management page and they usually just enter in a Web form to program all the buttons on the phone, to do locates, to set up tracking sessions. Hit go and it's done in just about a minute, so it's very simple. They could also do text locate commands from any cell phone using SMS."

The price, about twenty dollars a month. Wherify faces competition….in its new venture…from Disney Mobile, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and others. Cunningham says one of the big selling points is… parents can use it….no matter which carrier they use for adults in the household. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.