Tappy NFC hats aim to help reunite lost kids with parents
Identifyingthe safety concerns of parents when taking children to crowded locations suchas fun parks, museums and festivals, Justine Mittelheuser created Tappy hatsfor children.
Putting herfour years’ experience working in Near Field Communication (NFC) technology togood use, Mittelheuser’s Tappy hats and caps are designed to help reuniteparents with lost children through a waterproof NFC tag made from ABS material,embedded in the brim or visor of the hat.
NFCtechnology involves two-way communication over radio waves between the NFC chipand an NFC device such as a Smartphone or tablet. Unlike Bluetooth, it does notrequire pairing and can be accessed immediately through proximity.
The Tappy hatsNFC tag is encoded with the cell phone number of a parent or guardian whichwhen tapped by an NFC enabled Smartphone, is automatically dialed. The idea isthat if a child is lost while travelling or in a crowd, any Smartphone user cantap the clearly labelled tag on the brim of the hat and inform the parent orguardian of the child’s location.
The hatscan be encoded with the parent or guardian’s cellphone number by the manufacturers or encoded at home through the Tappy Androidapp.
The firstprototype was designed by Mittelheuser in 2012 for her son to wear. Aftergenerating interest from other parents and friends, Mittelheuser identified amarket for the product and set about creating a Kickstarter campaign to have itproduced on a larger scale.
Mittelheuser’sexperience creating custom NFC brands for Australian businesses allowed her toengage an existing relationship with global NFC tag manufacturer, NFC Wireless Pty Ltd, to supply the specialized NFC tags.
The tagshave an expected ten year tag life, equivalent to ten thousand taps. The capsand hats are made from 100 percent cotton and are machine washable and thewaterproof tag means that there is no risk to the hardware through washing,rain or swimming. They will come in two designs, Surfer Girl and Skater Boy in bothbucket hats and caps.
Mittleheuser is hoping to deliver the product in September if all goes to plan. The goal is to reach AUD$15,000 (approx. US$11,600) by July 23, with a pledge for a bucket hat or a cap set a $22.