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January 28, 2013

New smartphone apps can help monitor safety of children, seniors

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Parents of young children and caregivers for older adults could check in and monitor their safety by using two new smartphone applications developed and commercialized by two Greater Lafayette companies.

D&B Apps LLC of Lafayette is selling ChildCheck and HomeSolo at the Apple iTunes Store. ChildCheck costs 99 cents, and HomeSolo costs $4.99. Both were developed by Purdue Research Park-based IN3 ("In cubed").

Bob McCullouch, founder of IN3, said he and his colleagues were pleased to develop applications that could benefit a large audience.

"National family and youth organizations place the number of children who return to an empty house after school from 6 to 13 million. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 15 percent of the 11.3 million Americans older than age 65 live alone," he said. "When the executives at D&B Apps shared their thoughts on ChildCheck and HomeSolo, I immediately wanted IN3 involved to create the best solutions."

Brett Schurman, chief apps officer at D&B Apps, said ChildCheck sends a message from a parent to a child at designated check-in times. The child responds to the message by pressing a button on the iPhone's screen, which sends a notification message to the parent's phone letting the parent know the child arrived safely. If a child does not respond, ChildCheck sends a text message to the parent.

"Parents can enter as few or as many check-in times as they wish. For instance, a check-in can be built to confirm the child made it to school, home from school, to a friend's house, to a movie or a sports practice," he said. "ChildCheck also pinpoints the location of the child within feet of their GPS coordinates on the iPhone Map."

Donna Schurman, president of D&B Apps, believes HomeSolo is the first app of its kind to offer a daily well-being check to adults who live alone.

"When the time comes that I live by myself, I want an app that will automatically check on me each day without imposing on my sons' busy families," she said. "I looked on the iPhone App Store and didn't find anything so I decided to fill that niche."

She said HomeSolo connects iPhone users with a single parent, relative or friend through an automatic daily message. Users enter the name and contact information of the single person who will receive the caregiver message as well as the days, times and frequency of messages. Users also enter the contact information of the person to be alerted in case of emergency. If the person living alone misses a check-in message, HomeSolo notifies them and the emergency contact at 10-, 20- and 30-minute intervals.

More information about the apps can be found at http://www.childcheckapp.com and http://www.homesoloapp.com.

About ChildCheck

ChildCheck is an iPhone application that lets parents know their child made it safely home after school, to practice, to a friend's house or anywhere else.

About HomeSolo

HomeSolo is an iPhone application that allows adults to check on parents or loved ones who live alone through messages sent at regular intervals to the single person's phone.

About IN3

IN3 is an IT startup company located in the Purdue Research Park that has its roots in 3iD, a Purdue University IT research and development group. IN3 provides innovative IT solutions to various industries with particular emphasis in mobile applications and online educational tools and content.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park, with four locations across Indiana, is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The parks are home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact:

Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org

Sources:

Bob McCullouch, 765-404-7034, bob@in3applications.com

Brett Schurman, 317-363-6818, brett@childcheckapp.com

Donna Schurman, 765-474-4155, donna@homesoloapp.com