Better safe than sorry

Vinaya Patil
Sunday, 17 September 2017

Pune-based startup Particles Technology comes up with a GPS-based device that will help parents stay updated about their child’s location and thus their safety

You switch on a news channel and more often than not you will be greeted with crime news and assaults on women and children. Crime against children is on the rise, the latest being the abuse and murder of a seven-year-old in a Gurugram school. It not only worries you, but disturbs and unsettles you to even imagine that such heinous acts are being committed against the most innocent among us. More so, if you are a parent to a schoolgoer.

What can we do to avoid these unfortunate circumstances, apart from educating our children, creating awareness and ensuring their safety? As a step in this direction, the team at Particles Technology, a Pune-based company, has come up with a device called the BeeTracker. It is a wearable smart tracking device for your children. “BeeTracker learns its activities and suggests places as possible safe zones. Once confirmed you will receive notifications when the wearer enters or leaves those places,” explains Sadhna Matnani, the brain behind this product.

A year-old company, Particles came up with this device with a vision to enable a safer environment for children. “With the huge number of cases of abduction and child abuse, we thought that something like this was necessary. According to the data we collected, a child goes missing every 10 minutes in India, and a child is abused every 15 minutes. The figures are larger in urban areas,” Matnani says. 

The team of three young professionals — Prasad Raghojiwar, Rahul Katkar and Matnani — worked with a software company before they quit their jobs to focus on their startup. They first conducted a survey of 200 parents about the role of location in a child’s safety.

The BeeTracker app, that they came up with, thus lets parents check their child’s location from their phone. This app works together with BeeTracker Box — the smart tracking device that uses a blend of GPS, AGPS, Wi-Fi, and Cell ID — to provide accurate positioning of a child, both indoors and outdoors.

Parents will be able to see the location of their child with the BeeTracker device via this app. Any number of guardians can be connected to the device with the help of this app.

How is it different from other such GPS-based devices? “One, it is tiny in size, weighing around 20 gm, making it easy for the child to carry it anywhere, even in his/her pockets. Two, its location updates are fast and very accurate. We compared it with other such services,” Matnani says. Among its features are behaviour-based positioning, where the device learns the user’s behaviour and makes positioning more accurate. The child’s activity from the last seven days can also be checked by the parent or guardians whose phones are connected with the device. The SOS button helps kids get help by sending an alarm to all the connected phones. The app will also show when one of the family members is accompanying the child.

Manufactured by Foxconn technology group, the device costs Rs 5,000 per unit along with the app support. Particles technology, which has done B-to-B collaborations so far, is now planning to tie up with schools and customising the device accordingly. “The next plan is to expand in other cities, beginning from Mumbai, Delhi and so on,” Matnani concludes.

Related News