BENGALURU: Child safety concerns have been dominating a lot of conversations over the last few months. In an effort to provide a comprehensive solution to the problem, i2india, a technology based venture company that develops solutions to India centric concerns, has developed a watch for children. This will act as a guardian and an SOS system.
"Initially we were looking at creating an application. But after studying the issue more closely, we realised we needed to do something bigger. We wanted to look at the 'Internet of Things' and come up with a comprehensive product that will provide an immediate response mechanism," says Vinay Rao, chief technology officer, i2india.
Called Swaraksha, the solution comes in two parts: a smart watch and a mobile application. The smart watch is fitted with a SIM card that is GPS enabled and lets children press an SOS button, when they feel they are in trouble and need help. "When the child presses the SOS button, it immediately sends an SMS as well as calls the three or four pre-configured mobile numbers on the watch," says Vinay.
It also notifies the application on the parents' mobile phone that gives them the child's exact location and a map to get there. "The app gives you everything you need to take the next step. It locates the closest police station and hospitals. It also has an in-built link to the child helpline," he says.
The Android and iOS based app also has a dial-in feature, where the parent can call the watch to hear exactly what is happening around the child. "We assume that parents will panic the minute they receive the SOS notification. The dial-in helps them listen in and find out what may be happening around the child at that moment," says Vinay.
The app also empowers parents by allowing them to subscribe to groups that are relevant to them. "The minute you install the application and punch in your details, you will be automatically added to groups that let you communicate with the parents of other children of your child's class, as well as the school authorities, including teachers and other staff," says Vinay. In a time when most parents are angry about schools' lack of communication, internal discussions will help dissipate the tension, he hopes.
The team has also roped in NGOs that work with children as well as child psychologists to create material that parents can use to educate their children about sexual abuse, as well as recognise good touch from bad touch. This will help children use the watch when they are in trouble.