Imagine you call out your child’s name, and there’s no answer. They’re nowhere in the house, or anywhere in the yard. Vanished. This is the sort of scenario a product called AngelSense hopes to help parents with.
We’ve covered a number of tracking devices and apps for kids in the past, but AngelSense is a unique one tailored specifically for parents who are raising children with special needs. The company is hoping to bring those parents peace of mind and a greater sense of security.
What Is AngelSense?
AngelSense is a self-contained tracking device that lets you the location of your child at any time, and also lets you “listen in” on whatever is going on around them.
The device arrives packaged in a durable pouch that you can use to store the tracker and all of its accessories for easy use during travel.
Inside the kit, you’ll find the tracker encased in a specially designed sleeve with tamper-proof fasteners that let you button the case inside of your child’s pocket.
The kit comes with everything you’ll need to get started. After charging the device, the tracker is surprisingly simple to get set up and working immediately.
The kit comes with:
- The AngelSense Guardian GPS device sealed inside of the fabric sleeve
- Two pre-attached fasteners and one extra one if you need it
- A magnetic key for removing the fasteners
- A wall charger and included USB charging cable
- A small instruction pamphlet
- A car decal for a special needs child
- An AngelSense rubber bracelet
If your child doesn’t like the feel of the device in their pocket, AngelSense also sells accessories like a soft belt that children can wear under their clothes, or even an undershirt that holds the device on the back, between the shoulder blades.
How AngelSense Works
Once the AngelSense tracker finishes charging, it will connect to a cellular network and immediately start transmitting its GPS coordinates.
The most unique aspect of this service is that there is no need to struggle through connecting the device with your own cellular service. AngelSense can send you a tracker that works off AT&T or Verizon in the US, depending on which service is better in your area . In Canada, it works with and the Rogers network. All tracking updates are done through the AngelSense system—which uses an independent cellular network from yours.
Key features of the AngelSense service includes:
- A timeline view of every location your child has been, including transit routes and speeds
- Alerts whenever your child visits known and unknown locations, arrival and departures, and real time speed
- “Runner mode”, which updates your child’s location, and your distance from them, on a real-time map
- “Listen-In” mode, which lets you hear everything that’s going on around your child
- First responder, lets you send SMS alerts to a pre-set group to instantly help you find your child
- Late departure warnings if you child doesn’t leave a location when they were scheduled to
- Voice Features, including 2 way voice, and listen-in
The monthly AngelSense service charge includes the cellular data connection with the device, plus up to 60 minutes of “Listen-In” calling. However, there’s also the option to purchase more time if you need it.
Setting Up Guardians and Responders
This is one piece of technology that doesn’t require an IT expert to use it.
The instructions in the small four-page instruction pamphlet walk you through plugging in the device and pressing the power button for about ten seconds until you hear a female voice telling you that the device is charging.
Once the device is charged, you’re ready to get started.
The first thing you’ll want to do in the app settings area is set up the name of your “Angel,” and the name and contact information of the responsible guardian.
Next, you can set up a first responder group. Adding their email addresses and phone numbers lets the device send out immediate alerts to your trusted group of family and friends when things go wrong.
Also, make sure to check with your school as to whether there are any legal liability issues with the Listen-In mode of the device. If the school doesn’t want to let you hear what’s going on in the classroom, you’ll need to disable that feature in the settings. There’s an option to disable the Listen-In feature specifically during school hours. You can make the school a guardian as well, so the staff can utilize the features in case the child goes missing from school.
Once you’ve set up your guardian and response group, it’s time to set up your Listen-In schedule and notifications.
Setting Up Schedule and Notifications
In settings, the Listen-In Schedule is where you can configure daily time periods where the Listen-In feature is disabled. This is useful for when your child is in a location where the Listen-In feature may not be legally allowed.
In the Notifications area, you can set up any of the following notifications to receive from the device:
- When your child arrives or leaves predefined locations
- When they haven’t left a saved location by the time you’ve specified
- Low battery notifications
- Morning or evening reminders to charge the device
- A morning reminder to attach the device to your child
During testing, the Listen-In feature worked fairly well if anyone is speaking within a few feet of the child. It doesn’t appear to register sound throughout an entire room, which should put anyone concerned about privacy at ease. It’s clear the core purpose of this device is to protect the child above all else. In cases of caretaker neglect or abuse, the Listen-In feature is critical.
Tracking Your Child
The main purpose of the AngelSense tracker is to let you know where your child is at any point in time during the day. The tracker performs this task extremely well, with an app that is very easy to use.
At any time during the day, you can open the AngelSense app and see everything you need to know about where your child is located or where they’re going. The map shows you:
- Current location
- Distance and direction between you and your child
- The direction and speed your child is headed during transit from one location to another as well as the ETA
- The ability to add specific locations and a “safe boundary” to your list of safe places, and whether to enable any notifications there
Real-time tracking during “runner mode,” where the map updates every ten seconds, will drain the device battery quickly. So you don’t want to monitor the map all day. However any time you’re concerned about your child’s location, this map will quickly put your mind at ease.
In addition to tracking location, the AngelSense tracker has a few extra useful features to give parents peace of mind:
- AngelCall: This lets parents initiate a two-way conversation with their child through the device
- Automatic Updates: Setting up the device on your home wi-fi network ensures automatic updates and fixes
- School Dashboard: You can enable a special school dashboard for special needs teachers and administrators to use
- Indoor Search: The device allows you to pinpoint your child’s location inside buildings like a shopping mall
- Alarm: Lose your child in a large crowd? Set off a loud alarm so you can quickly locate them.
All of these features come together into an important tool belt that concerned parents of children with special needs can use to keep a closer eye on their children.
More About AngelSense
One might ask why a parent would need to keep such tight watch over a child. This is something that only a parent with a special needs child could understand.
CEO and Co-founder of AngelSense Doron Somer explains on the website exactly what motivated him to work on this project:
“In the 21 years of raising my son with autism we experienced everything, from minor neglect by caregivers and all the way to abuse. When he wandered, he could not even tell people where he lives. Keeping my son safe and well cared for has always been a great challenge for us.”
It’s those terrifying experiences as a parent of a special needs child that motivate Doron Somer, co-founder Nery Ben-Azar, and all of the staff that work for the company. In fact, as a testament to this mission, the company has only hired special needs parents as their customer service staff.
This means any special needs parent who orders an AngelSense will be speaking with another parent who understands their unique situations and all of the concerns they have.
When you purchase your kit, you can receive a personal consultation session with a customer service mom. These are special needs parents who understand your unique situation, and they’ll walk you through how the device works and how to use it. This makes getting started with AngelSense effortless and gives you lots of confidence with the service.
The kit is affordable for parents with special needs children, with different plans so you can choose what works for your family, priced at $99 for the kit and a monthly payment plan of $33.33/month if paid yearly, $39.99/month if paid monthly, or $52.99/month for a month-to-month plan.
A Unique Tracking Device
This level of tracking may be excessive for other families, but for parents of special needs children, it’s exactly what’s needed. It provides both the child and the parent with the security of knowing that no matter what happens, the parent will be able to quickly get to the child.
There are many areas of life where technology can help you with parenting. In the area of special needs parenting, this is clearly a device that will be well received and welcomed by many families.