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This Benevolent Beeper Keeps An Eye On The Kids


Developments to Watch

THIS BENEVOLENT BEEPER KEEPS AN EYE ON THE KIDS

Technology that troops use to locate friendly forces may give parents a strategic advantage. With help from defense contractor Harris Corp. in Melbourne, Fla., a Long Beach (Calif.) startup has developed a beeper system that warns parents when a child strays more than 15 feet. Existing products measure radio-wave signal strength. But they have been plagued with false alarms caused by interference from walls and store security systems.

A+H International's BeeperKid works differently. The child's transmitter sends two signals: One identifies the child. The other, A+H says, is a low-frequency signal that drops off sharply in intensity beyond 15 feet. The parent's unit has to receive both or an alarm goes off. A+H won't say why the low-frequency signal drops off sharply, a phenomenon that seems to defy principles of radio transmission. BeeperKid sells for $150.EDITED BY RUTH COXETER


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