What is Geofencing and How It Can Help Parents Keep Children Safe
Geofencing is another bit of technology which you, as a parent, may find rather useful. It’s not in very common usage yet; but it does use the ubiquitous GPS and/or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification –Bluetooth, wifi, etc.) as part of its technology.
Global Positioning System (GPS), as you already know, is a system that uses satellites, ground stations, and receivers to pinpoint someone’s or something’s position or location on earth. It is often used in virtual maps to locate where one is going to. Many of us use GPS in our cars, smartphones, and other devices to navigate our streets or even look up where a friend is at this very moment.
Expand this concept by pinpointing a location (GPS) and setting up virtual geographical boundaries around it. This is what geofencing is. Using devices with specific software with GPS and RFID capabilities, one can fence in or create invisible boundaries in a place, a virtual fence that shows up only on one’s device. This way, the geofence operator is alerted as to who or what comes in or out the virtual boundaries, as long as these people, animal, or object carry a monitoring device. Smartphones and tablets work very well for this.
There are numerous applications to this clever technology. From herding cattle to sending sales promotions to targeted shoppers in a specific area, geofencing is gaining ground in commercial use. It is also beginning to get more notice as a valuable parental tech tool for monitoring children’s whereabouts.
It is always good to be one step ahead of your kids when it comes to technology. Let’s discuss how setting up our own virtual perimeters for our kids can help us, as parents, keep them secure.
Mark Safe Zones Like School and Home
Setting up the boundaries around the school area would allow parents to track kids through their mobile phones, tablets, or laptops and know where their children are at all times. An alert will be triggered if a child leaves the designated school limits. A geofencing app may also alert the parent, who may be at work, that his or her child has safely arrived home or conversely, has sneaked out of the established home perimeter.
Alert Parents if a Child is in a No-Safe Zone
If you don’t feel comfortable about your child going off campus to visit a pal six blocks down your home, a geofencing app can trigger an alarm letting you know that he or she has left your permissible boundaries. Children can be lured into dangerous friendships by unsavory adults or by other misguided kids as well. If you suspect your child of violating your explicit admonitions not to go to a certain geofenced place or location, the geofencing app will definitely let you know if your child breaches the “no-fly zone.”
Find or Keep One Eye on Pets
If you have a kid, chances are a pet is part of your household as well and is possibly his or her best friend. In case young, bug-eyed Fido decides to explore the world on his own and leave a geofenced back and front yard, your mobile gadget would ring the alarm bells, allowing you to recover your child’s curious dog in time and prevent some heartbreak.
Keeping Track of Teenagers Who Know How to Drive
Setting up geofencing for your car is also a smart move to know whether your kid at the wheel is off his or her permissible grid. A geofencing alert will be instantly triggered the moment the car leaves its authorized zone or arrives at a geofenced “off-limits” area.
Having the ability to track your children with relatively inexpensive software and hardware equipment (mobile phones, tablets, smart wearables, etc.) is a godsend. You may also use geofencing to track other family members such as a wandering grandpa with Alzheimer’s or very young, overly curious children who are in places they are not supposed to be (i.e. the tool shed or basement). Geofencing apps are here to make your life and job as a parent a lot easier and more convenient. Take advantage of what your parents never had.