AT&T and Amber Alert GPS have joined forces to produce the Amber Alert GPS V3, a GPS tracker device aimed at child safety that works over the 3G network. Using the device, parents can create safe zones – a certain radius around locations where your children should usually be, like home, school, or a friend’s house. ‘Breadcrumbing’ is also possible, tracking your child’s movements and highlighting locations at a set time interval. The GPS V3 is integrated with the National Sex Offender Database, as well. Should your child be near a sex offender’s home, or if your child leaves one of your set safe zones, you’ll receive an email or text notification about it immediately. Your child can also activate an SOS alert directly on the device, which will alert you and let you know exactly where your child is in case of an emergency.
Actually putting the device into practice might take a little nuance. You’ll want to make sure you know where all your kids’ friends live, and their usual hang-out spots – get too many false alarms, and you might forget about the device altogether as something that cries wolf. You’ll also want to make sure the device actually stays with your child. It’s of little use if your child loses it, or stashes it away at a friend’s house and sneaks off somewhere else. There’s debate today about secretly slipping these GPS trackers into backpacks without your child noticing, and whether or not that constitutes an undue invasion of your child’s privacy. These are issues you’ll need to weigh before investing in one of these Amber Alert GPS V3 trackers.
You’ll want to do your due diligence about whether or not this device is right for you and your family, because the Amber Alert GPS V3 doesn’t come cheap. Both the basic and ultimate GPS V3 trackers cost about $200. Both require a one-year contract with AT&T – the basic will cost $9.99 per month, while the ultimate will cost $19.99 per month. The ultimate contains all the features listed above, while the basic only features SOS alerts and the ability to locate your child using an app on your smartphone or your computer. Predator alerts cost an extra $5.99 per month, while SMS alerts cost an extra $9.99 per month, up to 100 SMS (otherwise, you will just receive email notifications and alerts). Accessories like arm bands, pouches, and lanyards are also for sale. It’s a bit of a shame that there are so many features excluded from the start that require extra fees, putting this service financially out of the reach of many people. If you can afford the extra cost per month, though, the Amber Alert GPS V3 should be a solid way to keep tabs on your kids and make sure they are staying safe from harm.