Chaperone via Cellphone

Back in April, I blogged about Sprint’s GPS tracking package aimed at parents who want to keep better track of the cellphone-totting kids. Well, it’s a trend that seems to be catching on. Verizon just rolled out its own “chaperone” service.

Verizon on Monday introduced a new service aimed at parents who wish to keep track of where their children are through their cell phones. Additionally, the service will give children a way to easily contact their parents.

The “Chaperone” service would be provided in conjunction with the kid-friendly LG Migo, a cell phone designed for easy operation by even the youngest users. The system uses GPS capabilities built into the phone in order to track a child’s position.

The parent would be able to see where the phone is located from a map on the Verizon Web site. Additionally, parents can download a cell phone-based application that would perform similar functions, Verizon said.

… Another feature, called Child Zone, provides a service for parents where they would be alerted when the Migo phone leaves a predetermined area. The service would send a text message to the parent’s Verizon phone.

Linux News has screenshots of the locator screen for the Sprint plan, which give some idea of what parents on Verizon’s plan might see when logging on to make sure little Johnny or Susie comes straight home from soccer practice. It also quotes an industry analyst as suggesting that companies offer such services will need to set “realistic expectations for their customers.

LG Migo Phone

I still find myself wondering what other uses folks might find for this technology, like keeping tabs on straying spouses, etc. That the service requires use of Verizon’s LG Migo phone, which adults are unlikely to use, might reduce that threat. Of course, it would be easy enough to slip the phone into the purse, briefcase, car, etc., of the suspected spouse (or anyone else, for that matter) and keep track of their comings and goings while undetected. But, then again, there are already services that track anyone who has a cellphone, so perhaps that segment of the GPS market is already being served.