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Japan Deploys Wi-Fi To Track Kids' Whereabouts

A vendor of wireless location-tracking products has launched a new application: Tracking school children when they are out of the house by making them where Wi-Fi tags ordinarily used to track product inventory.

AeroScout said it has started deploying the application in an area of Yokohama City in Japan. It said it is working with several Japanese vendors including Nissan Motor Co. and NTT Data to provide its T2 Tag location-tracking products for children. Besides helping parents know the location of their kids, the system alerts drivers of appropriately-equipped cars when children who are wearing the tags are in the vicinity.

According to a statement from AeroScout, parents are alerted when children reach pre-set points along the route. If there is a problem, the kids can press a call button on the tag, which alerts their parents.

"The safety of schoolchildren is a critical concern for parents and guardians in Japan and worldwide, and the use of standard Wi-Fi networks for location and alerting provides an innovative solution," Gabi Daniely, AeroScout's vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

This type of technology has been primarily used to track inventory and other items in situations in which those items are in constant motion. In such settings, such as "high velocity" warehouses and hospitals that need to track equipment, more static RFID tags aren't sufficient.

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