A new startup called “I’mOK” has just come out of beta and is hoping to revolutionize the way parents keep in touch with their children. The key premise behind the iPhone App launched on Wednesday, is rewarding children for keeping their parents notified on their whereabouts and activities.
This will sound like a godsend to many parents who are struggling to keep track of their childs movements and are tired of feeling like ogres for continually ringing and texting. The company tagline sums up how a lot of parents would like to be monitoring their children outside of the home: “It’s knowing…without the nagging.”
The App has three essential features that give parents the comfort of knowing their child is safe, while providing enough incentive that kids want to check-in to the system:
Once a parent has signed up for an I’mOK account they send an activation code to their child and other family members. The activation code means that all data shared on the network is completely private and is only visible to those invited.
Once a child has installed the App, they can then check-in at different locations throughout the day. With the phones in-built GPS, the App knows where the child is and lets them select their location from a list. From here a child can select what they are doing, who they are with, and even add photos and notes to the check-in.
The check-in function means that parents can see on a map where their child is located. While the photos and additional information provides the comfort knowing what your child is spending their time doing.
OK, that is great. Parents can now see where their child is and with who, but why would a child want to enter all this information?
This is where the team at I’mOK have come up with a great idea and gamified the experience of checking in the with the folks. Each time a child checks-in, they accumulate points. For each additional piece of information, such as photos, friends and notes they will accumulate further points.
Points mean that there is now a competitive incentive for your child to let family know their whereabouts and what they are doing. This harnesses similar gamification methodologies as other check-in services such as Foursquare and Gowalla.
Gamification is a great way to encourage children to perform a task they would normally not be interested in, but I’mOK takes the concept a step further by offering rewards in exchange for points.
Rewards are set by parents or suggested by children in a “wishlist” and can be anything from staying up late, increases in allowance, to Amazon Gift Vouchers. Once enough points have been earned a child can select items from their “wishlist” and make an exchange for the points they have built up.
The value in the rewards based system mean that children actually want to keep their parents informed of their activities. This is a real win for parents, as in many cases the rewards offered are a small price in exchange for the peace of mind brought by knowing their child is OK.
If the I’mOK App looks like something that may solve a problem in your house, visit I’mOK for more details. Also, let us know what you think of it and share your thoughts on whether you would use this with your family and children?
Image courtesy of I’mOK