Where R U? Text service tracks teens

Brian Randell Brian.Randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Wed Jul 20 03:42:30 PDT 2005


>From today's (UK) Guardian:

>Where R U? Text service tracks teens
>Lucy Ward, social affairs correspondent
>Wednesday July 20, 2005
>The Guardian
>It is a familiar dilemma for parents of teenagers testing new-found
>independence - do you sit at home fretting over their after-school
>whereabouts or call their mobiles and risk a tirade against over-
>The answer, according to one company, is a hi-tech apron string
>based on the mobile phone location tracking techniques used in
>police investigations.
>The new KidsOK service, sold in shops including Boots and Bhs as
>the summer holidays start, allows parents to use their own mobiles
>and their children's to "discreetly" locate wandering offspring (or
>their phones, at least) to within about 500m in built-up areas.
>Instead of dialling their teenager's number, parents subscribing to
>the service send or "ping" a text message including the child's
>name to a special mailbox. Within 60 seconds, they receive a map
>(if they have a picturephone) or a description showing the position
>of the youngster's phone.
>The system uses technology which traces the location of a mobile by
>pinpointing it within the three nearest mobile phone masts. Because
>the masts are clustered in built-up areas, the method is most
>accurate in cities and gives a much less precise picture in rural

. . . .

Full story:


School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 222 7923
FAX = +44 191 222 8232  URL = http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/~brian.randell/

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