New location-based service helps families locate their loved ones
Laura Tigges, Sprint, 913-794-3604
Emmy Anderson, Sprint, 913-794-3467
For more information, visit the Sprint Family Locator press kit
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — 04/13/2006
It can be unsettling for a parent or guardian when a child is late coming home from school or misses an after-school activity. Today, Sprint (NYSE: S) launches a location-based service, Sprint Family Locator by WaveMarket Inc., that can help give parents peace of mind. Sprint is the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer a consumer-focused LBS application that enables a parent to use a phone or PC to pinpoint the location of a child on a map along with the address, surrounding landmarks, and accuracy of the information within a specified radius.
"Sprint Family Locator is a valuable tool that can help parents and guardians have a better sense of their children’s whereabouts when they’re apart," said Danny Bowman, vice president of product marketing for Sprint. "This is the latest Sprint innovation that uses GPS technology to improve the way families connect, communicate and locate one another."
Sprint Family Locator has a host of privacy and security features:
- Permissions: To activate the service, parents and guardians can list up to four phone numbers they want to locate. For additional security, the parent creates a safety word that the parent and child both use only during the registration process to ensure permissions have been granted by both parties. Parents can also give permission to others, such as a grandparent or nanny, to locate a child.
- Locate: When a parent or guardian requests the child’s location, Sprint Family Locator uses GPS technology to pinpoint the location and display it on an interactive map, along with the street address and surrounding landmarks, on the parent’s or guardian’s phone or PC. The child is notified by a text message each time his or her location is provided to the parent or guardian, ensuring open communication.
- Contact: Once the child is located, the parent or guardian can immediately call or send a text message to the child’s phone.
- Safety check: The parents or guardian can set alerts to notify them when the child arrives at a specified location, such as a school, home or a relative’s house at a designated time. For example, a parent or guardian can be notified whether a child has arrived at school by 8:15 a.m. each day.
- Reports: Information on recent location requests is provided in text and map form.
"We encourage parents and guardians to maintain open and frequent communication with their children" said Nancy A. McBride, national safety director for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). "We also remind them to supervise their children and discuss safety tips with them for staying safer when traveling to and from school or after-school activities."
Following are a few tips adapted from NCMEC’s Knowing My Rules for Safety to help parents and guardians practice safety measures every day:
- Always check with your parents or guardians before going anywhere, getting into a vehicle, or leaving with anyone
- Take a friend when going places or playing outside
- Say "no" and get away from any situation that makes you feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused, and remember to tell your parents or a trusted adult if something like this happens
Sprint Family Locator is available for download on 17 phone models and can be used to locate 30 GPS-enabled phone models on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and the Nextel National Network. For $9.99/month, subscribers can register up to four phones to locate, get unlimited location requests and send 100 text messages to each child phone. The service is available at www.sprint.com/familylocator; on Sprint phones’ homepage under downloads/applications/find it; and on Nextel phones’ homepage under downloads and services/applications/browse/GPS.
Sprint Nextel has the longest history in the industry with location-based services, beginning in 2000 with location and mobility services, the first GPS-enabled phone to support E911 services in 2001 and the first navigation service on mobile phones with turn-by-turn voice-guided driving directions in 2003. Sprint Nextel continues to be the industry leader in location-based services by offering the largest portfolio of wireless mobility solutions for enterprise, general business and consumers. The consumer applications include turn-by-turn directions, point-of-interest and specialty applications such as Garmin Mobile, TeleNav, BiM Active, Sprint Family Locator, Rand McNally Mobile Travel Tools, and MapQuest Find Me. Frost & Sullivan recognized Sprint Nextel with the 2005 Company of the Year Award in LBS for excellence in successfully deploying and delivering location services and solutions.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of communications services bringing mobility to consumer, business and government customers. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks offering industry leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and an award-winning and global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
About Wave Market
WaveMarket Inc. is a world leader in location-based services and has pioneered the first carrier-grade location trigger solution. The company’s software product suite includes solutions that range from family finder services to mobile social networking. Marketing to mobile carriers in the United States, Europe and Asia, WaveMarket’s customers include top tier North American carriers Sprint Nextel, Cingular, Bell Mobility of Canada, and SK Telecom, Korea’s leading wireless carrier. Headquartered in Emeryville, CA, WaveMarket also has international offices in Brazil and Canada. Founded in 2000, the company is financed by a group that includes Draper Fisher Jurvetson, QUALCOMM Ventures, BlueRun Ventures (formerly Nokia Venture Partners), Intel Capital, and Mitsui Ventures.