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Tracking your child's safety

Devices that can help you keep an eye on your child at all times. Contributor Janice Lieberman reviews the latest technology for keeping your kids and loved ones safe. Learn more about the products she discusses on "Today."

Learn more about the tracking devices contributor Janice Lieberman discusses on "Today":

E-911 is on its way to being available around the country. Currently there are 6,000 emergency 911 centers in the U.S. The goal is for all of these 911 centers to track the location of the wireless phone user. 

Cell phone tracking capability is coming into play for the first time. So as the cell phone user, you can call 911, and the emergency service can locate you. The problem is, the emergency service you call has to have location reading capability. By 2005 all cell phones will have this E-911 capability, but this doesn't mean that the emergency service will have the capability. This service is state or locally regulated.

This device looks like a watch, and can be locked to your child's wrist. This product is targeted toward 4-12 years olds. When you purchase the locator, you call to activate the system and sign up for the service plan. Once activated, you can check the Web site for the location of the device, or you can call the 800 number for an operator to give you a location.  The Web site allows you to see the location by map, or by real-time pictures from the satellites. If the device is removed from the child without the key fob, an alarm sounds at the emergency center.  Also, if in danger a child can press the two outside buttons on the device and it will call 911.

The next step for the Wherify is gearing a locator for adults and the elderly. The smaller device that will clip onto a belt or a lanyard will be available in the second quarter of 2004. This device will even allow verbal communication with an emergency operator. The cost is $199.99 plus tax and shipping. Service plans range from $19.95-44.95 per month. $19.95 allows for 20 locates, and the top price of $44.95 allows for 80 located a month --

This device is the size of a deck of playing cards. It can be easily put in a pocket or handbag. This product is used primarily for Alzheimer's disease patients. The device is comprised of a small battery-powered locator that is carried by the Alzheimer sufferer whenever he or she ventures out-of-doors.  By a combination of GPS and GSM technology, this locator is a permanent contact with a central monitoring station. The monitoring station can keep track of a large number of locators, each of which is programmed with a permitted geographic area, and the duration of the excursion.  If the person being monitored strays outside his or her permitted area, or stays away from home longer than the permitted time, an alert is sounded, and the person can be retrieved.

SIDSA sells the SPL technology (device and control center), but the service requires a Medical Call Center to manage it. SIDSA has developed the technology but is not a service provider. This device has to be set up with a local wireless service provider that you can find in your area. SIDSA only provides the device and the technology. The locator sells for $595, plus monthly fees --

These phones allow parents to track the location of their child's phone, and allows them to see (either directly on their own phone or via a secure Web site) their child's exact current location via a Mapquest map.  Parents can program the service to notify them immediately as their child arrives at a location (school, home, sports center, etc.) or leaves an area (neighborhood, town, etc.) that they've defined. They can even review past locations visited. ULocate's platform takes advantage of cell phones that can establish and transmit latitude and longitude using the government's Global Positioning System (GPS). Currently, they support the Motorola i730, i88s and i58sr on the Nextel network and all models of the Benefon on the T-Mobile, AT&T, and Cingular networks. Additional phones and carriers will be supported as they become GPS compatible. ULocate is offering their service *free* now through 2003 as part of its official launch. You just need to go to their Web site to sign up.In 2004, the rates will be as follows:-$12.95 per month for the first phone and $9.95 per month for each additional phone through five, $7.95 for the sixth phone. There are no set up charges. Rates are national. They do not vary by location. And on top of this price, you'll also need a cell phone carrier --