The Kids are OK

Mobile phones

Waiting in a queue to drink large amounts of champagne and see Astra’s latest HD demonstrations at the Saatchi Gallery the other day (it’s tough this publishing lark), I found myself doorstepped in the nicest possible way by an extremely ebullient marketing guy in half-rimmed glasses. Normally I would feign complete disinterest by looking at my feet or claiming  Portuguese as a first, and only, language, but this time I was actually quite interested in what the chap had to sell. A former marketing director of Astra, he’s now involved in a service called Kids OK  which uses simple cellphone technology to locate the little people in your life. It’s not a new idea (similar Internet-based services exist already) but what struck me about this service was that it worked and worked well using simple text messages and easy to view maps.

The downside? It ain’t exactly cheap. You have to sign up for £39.95 for the starter pack (this will enable you to register three phones – one ‘master’ phone for the adult and two ‘target’ phones for the ankle biters). This will give you ten ‘pings’ (location maps). After that you will have to pay £9.95 for a bundle of 20 pings.

Each time you want to know where the kids are you send a text message with their name to 60777 and around 60 seconds later a map of their location appears on your screen (assuming you’ve got a picture phone that is). You can even try the service for yourself by texting KidsOK to 60777 to see if it can work out where you are (this will cost 75p though). Accuracy depends on how far away your nearest cell is but is usually between 750m to 2km.

Call 0845 456 4408 or go to KidsOK to find out more.

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