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Coast developer's new app lets kids play, roam safely

AMEGO: Dan McKinnon shows Year 6 Siena primary school students his new child safety app.
AMEGO: Dan McKinnon shows Year 6 Siena primary school students his new child safety app. john mccutcheon

A NEW app developed on the Sunshine Coast and launched today aims to give children greater freedom to roam while relieving parents of the anxiety that took hold after Daniel Morcombe's disappearance on December 7, 2003.

Launching the Amego app developed by the Appfactory at Sippy Downs, Denise Morcombe said it would be a quiet companion that would keep families connected and protected while happily letting kids be kids again.

The Amego app allows parents to set the parameters around their child's independent journey to school or other destinations including trip time and range of movement.

Would you use an app that tracks your child's planned journeys?

This poll ended on 11 September 2015.

Current Results

Yes, and we can use it without invading his/her privacy

52%

I'm so excited by this new app but my kids don't have mobile phones

35%

No, I don't like the idea at all

11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Safe play zones can also be dialled in that allow children freedom but also alert parents if they stray further.

Developer Dan McKinnon said when his son started school this year he quickly noticed that not many children were walking or riding bikes to school.

"We live in a suburban area of Buderim and I wonder where the kids are riding bikes and skateboards.

"Where I grew up we would be outside and disappear (from home) until dinner.

WE SAY: Kids still need to have fun despite safety concerns

"Our company produces apps that help businesses improve productivity. I'm always thinking about the technology we use and how we can have it do more interesting things than selling Coke.

"This app will give kids independence and parents peace of mind."

Now downloadable to iPhone devices, an android compatible version will be released shortly.

RELATED: Coast's start-ups, innovation culture get thumbs up

Once the various parameters are established, kids can range within them. Buffers can be established by parents around expected route movements, to afford greater freedom than a requirement to stick strictly to a designated route or timeframe.

However if they move outside those boundaries parents get a signal on their phone to alert them of a potential problem and to identify the child's exact location.

Also if a child who is walking to school suddenly starts travelling at 80kmh, the parent will be immediately notified on their phone.

RELATED: Daniel Morcombe Foundation wins State award for schools kit

"This is not a tracking app," Mr McKinnon said.

"We are not marketing fear. There is enough of that coming at parents already.

"What it will do is enable parents' peace of mind and get kids outside.

"A lot of the time if something out of the ordinary happens parents will be able to check their phone and realise they're off at a mate's place.

The Amego app will sell for $4.99 with a percentage of proceeds going to the Morcombe Foundation.

Topics:  app children editors picks kids parenting safety


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