A child gone missing is every parent’s worst nightmare. Thankfully, digital technology can offer a helping hand. Devices like Hereo, Belluv and Mommy Here have been created to help parents keep their little ones under their digital thumbs. The latest to join the ranks is Yepzon from Finland, a positioning device currently at the type-approval stage. Its makers are seeking 50 testers all over the globe to see how it works in the field.
One of Yepzon's main selling points is its ease of use. Yepzon can be paired to a mobile device (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) with a tap via NFC, and has no buttons, which means it cannot be turned off. No registrations or passwords are necessary.
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The user can assign a Yepzon unit to a family member (or valuable, if desired) by taking a picture of the person or object or simply by naming it. The information is then stored in the cloud. Several Yepzons can be controlled simultaneously, and the control can be shared to as many devices as the user wants.
The unit combines Bluetooth for near field location, GPS/Glonass satellite positioning and mobile phone network location, meaning that the child or object can be tracked next door or on the other side of the globe.
In terms of design, the waterproof Yepzon has the look of a small computer mouse and weighs around 60 g (2 oz). It features a sturdy string to tie it to the wearer's garment and, as there are no bits sticking out, it can comfortably be thrown in a child's pocket. The built-in battery is said to last up to three months thanks to sleep modes guided by internal sensors.
"All of our preliminary testing shows that Yepzon operates the way it should," said company founder Otto Linna. "The most important feedback is, however, the final user experience that then enables us to make the last tweaks before putting the technology on the market."
Yepzon announced the device will be made available in Finland before the end of the year. In the meantime, anyone interested in becoming one of the 50 global field testers can contact the company to register.
The video below illustrates Yepzon at work.