BYU students develop app and wristband to keep kids close, safe

Posted at 10:11 PM, Dec 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-21 00:11:20-05

PROVO, Utah -- If you're a parent, you probably know that feeling: The scary pit in your stomach you get when your child wanders off.

Now, some MBA students at BYU are looking to prevent that feeling using a wristband and an app.

Taking your kids to a parade can go from terrific to terror if you don't know where they are, as Spencer Behrend knows all too well.

“That was a terrifying experience for his mother and me,” he said. “You try and keep your head. We scattered in every direction."

After Behrend and his family finished looking for their child, they started looking for solutions.

“We found some expensive GPS devices that were out of our price range, and we weren't sure we wanted to be monkey-backpack leash parents,” Behrend said.

So Behrend developed his own solution, the Kiband, which takes its name from the first two letters of the child who inspired the project, Kimball.

“The Kiband is a child-safety smart band that connects to a parent's smart phone,” Zack Otes, who is in charge of marketing for the product, said “And as a child gets too far away, the wristband will first vibrate, and then emit an audible alarm along with the parent's phone to alert you to the exact location of a child."

Otes said the band will alert the parents if it's removed, or submerged in water. You can track several kids with the app via Bluetooth, and set their distances. If they go too far, they get a buzzing warning.

“We started getting out there in the marketplace and actually asking people about how they liked what we were designing, and the feedback was just incredible,” Otes said.

The idea won business competitions, which brought in money for more development. They're looking to Indiegogo for the rest.

Behrend says that although it's a tether, the device really offers freedom.

“It allows me to let my child be a child and explore the world, but at the same time have control and make sure that they're safe, and that I know when they're getting too far away, and I'm comfortable with how far they're exploring,” he said.

They hope to set the price for the device at about $120, but the device can be preordered for $69 by backing the Indiegogo project. Click here to visit their website for more information.