Sunday, March 05, 2006

Your Kids Are a Beep Away

While walking through the airport after one of my last flights, I had to dodge the running and darting about of several screaming children. 
I looked around at the havoc they were creating, wondering -- Where are their parents?  I never did see anyone who looked like they claimed any of the children.  Given their loud and obnoxious behavior, I could almost understand why parents were hoping that someone would take these kids off of their hands.  (I'm kidding, I'm kidding!)
Seriously, though, I don't understand why people think that an airport (or anywhere else, for that matter) is a safe place to let kids roam free.  There are way too many ways for them to hurt themselves, someone else, or get lost.  I don't mean to sound alarmist, but in a blink of an eye, they could be gone.  And in the best case scenario, they're just lost; worst case, abducted.
I was intrigued, then, when I read about the IonKids system (via The Lobby, the new blog from Starwood Hotels).  It consists of a wristband, that looks like a watch, for the child and a base unit for the parent.  The two units link to one another, and if the child gets too far away, a beep not only alerts the parent, but locates the child as well.  Pricing for one wristband and one base unit starts around $300.
While I generally think that it's just a better idea to interact with, and be aware of what your kids are doing, I do know that kids are resourceful and can get away from you in increasingly clever ways.  This might just be a good back up.

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