New GPS Tracking Devices Look to Keep Children Safe

RICHMOND (WRIC)—Investigators are crediting the safe return of Amiyah Dallas, a 5-year-old girl who was thought to have been abducted by her aunt in Orange County on Wednesday, to technology. This was the first time they issued an Amber Alert notification to cell phones.

Two new GPS tracking devices could change the game when it comes to finding missing children.

The Amber Alert GPS and FiLIP Smartwatch allow families to stay connected virtually everywhere.

“A lot of people, parents, want to give their child a device to communicate when they're away from home or school, but they don't want to give them smartphones or cellphones. These are awesome alternatives,” said Jason Shepherd, the manager at an AT&T store off of West Broad Street in Richmond.

Shepherd explains how it works.

If a child feels threatened, they just hold down the “SOS” button for two to three seconds.

“It immediately activates and sends out the alert, contacts the primary number, footprints the location they're at, and it actually takes a voice recording for up to a minute on what's going on—the sounds around them,” Shepherd said.

Parents control alerts from the app on their smartphone or computer. The device allows for two-way calling to a primary number, but will send alerts to several numbers programmed on the app.

It also has a special setting to warn if a registered sex offender is within 500 feet.

“So, if they're walking through a neighborhood and there's any registered predator in the area, it gives you an alert that they are potentially coming near a predator's house or predator area,”Shepherd said.

The watch also allows kids to receive texts and can store up to five contacts.

The Amber Alert GPS is about $130 with a $10 a month plan with AT&T.

The FiLIP Smartwatch is more expensive—about $200—with that same monthly AT&T plan.


Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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