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High Tech Child Tracking

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Do you know where your kids are? Some high tech help is on the way. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. Imagine being able to know where your three year old is all the time. Even being able to speak to the toddler... wherever you or the child happens to be. It's not science fiction. It's a new mobile family service already being tested by Siemens in Germany. The child ... depending upon age... can carry either a GPS enabled mobile phone... or a technology equipped teddy bear. Project manager Susanne Muller-Zantop... says the device with wireless communication and GPS capability... .connects to a secure call center... .that the parent can call... or the child can reach with the push of a button...

"The call center has an instant picture and address information of the kid on the screen and says ... hello Paul, how are you today. And then Paul says, well I'm looking for my mom, I took the wrong bus."

And the call center can, using GPS, monitor the movements of the child. Muller-Zantop says she got the idea for the service because of concerns for her own child. The plan is to start rolling the service out, with a variety of partners, in the U.S. next year. The price should be in the twenty dollar a month range. And what about parents who want to use the technology to track... say... their teenager's whereabouts?

"Well actually I would suggest that teenagers use that for their parents. If you would like to know where your parents are in case you need money."

That's a joke. I think. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.