If you have been following my blog since the later half of 2012, you would have read all about my anguish of losing a child in a foreign country. Yes, we momentarily lost Ayd in LEGOLAND Malaysia back in December 2012 and although we were eventually reunited (thanks to his calm presence of mind), I nearly died many times over during those 15 minutes.
Because at the end of the day and as a parent to 3 kids, I want to have the assurance that comes with knowing their location and that they are safe. There is no denying that all parents have a varying degree of 'control freak' within them but with today's kids, I am mindful too of the fact that too much control may come across as overbearing and intrusive.
And that is where Folr, a company based in Singapore, comes in with its new app.
Folr is a location tracking application that gives real-time information on the whereabouts of family members, friends and other people that one cares about. Installed on any mobile device - iOS or Android and smartphone or tablet - it unobtrusively updates one on the locations of the most important people in your life.
To be honest, my first impression of the app when I first heard about it was that it was an app designed for stalkers. But I could not be further away from the truth. Because the most important (and amazing) feature about the Folr app is that it functions on an entirely permission-based basis, meaning that you must first seek your family member's permission and that person MUST explicitly accept your request before the tracking can commence.
Yes, that also means that both parties must download the app in order for the app to work. Thankfully, the app is free for everyone to use and is extremely simple to set up. A fuss-free sign-up process which involved verifying my account using my phone number later, the app was all ready to be used as I searched my phone's contacts to request to 'follow' the ones that matter to me.
The great thing about the app is not only must I seek consent in order to track that person, the person who is being tracked can also select exactly what days and times that I have access to their location!
Through GPS tracking, the location sharing process is essentially automated and will allow parents like me to check in on their kids at different times of the day. Or in this case, the wifey. Heh.
One thing to note though, the free app allows me to only check the current location of my loved ones. In order to view their history of location log-ins, there is a S$38.98 annual subscription payable.
Obviously Ale is still too young to own a smartphone, but I sense that the boys are already on the cusp of that 'when-can-I-have-a-phone' stage. I feel this app is fantastic in allowing parents to keep tabs on their older children, without being obnoxiously intrusive. Children have the option of deactivating their location when they feel like it so it is all the more important for parents to communicate effectively with their children and let them know the importance of such an app. Personally, I can already see myself putting it to good use the next time when I allow the boys to run off and take their own rides in a theme park... and still be able to keep track of their whereabouts!
The app will most definitely come in useful for parents who wish to keep up with their own parents too, who are older, own a smartphone and perhaps forgetful at times too. Or how about those who are on a business trip and wishes to let their spouses know of their location. Besides getting a peace of mind, this information will be especially important during times of need or distress.
Interested to find out more how Folr can give you less headaches regarding your loved ones? Track them down at www.folr.com!
*The Folr app can be downloaded for FREE at App Store and Play Store.