It's not just for those under house arrest anymore: Thanks to Wherify, anxious parents can track their children using satellite technology. Wherify's chunky plastic wristwatches, which lock onto a child's arm, are fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS).
Marketed as a gadget to thwart kidnappings, it is more likely to appeal to the parent of an unruly or latchkey child. Wondering what Michael is up to? The Wherify Web site provides a satellite image of his location. Wonder where he's been? Click on the "Bread Crumbs" option and see his path superimposed on a street map. On the market for over a year, Wherify has sold thousands of bracelets, says Bob Stern, the company spokesman.
When PT's testers took it for a spin, many staffers were appalled by the idea of Big Brother parenting. None of them, however, had kids. Show the gadget to a hardworking, single parent of two active boys, and you've got a potential customer.
PT testers found Wherify had a lot of kinks. Although the company warned that the "urban canyon" of New York City could disrupt the signal, Wherify easily tracked a PT intern to his apartment. But once he was inside, Wherify lost him. It was also thrown off by a taxi ride and failed to find an 11-year-old day-camper in the suburbs. Although the camper thought Wherify sounded "pretty cool," he wasn't keen on wearing it in front of his friends. However, his mother, a single parent, thought the idea was great.