13th Jan 2016
Worrying about family is a full-time occupation. Did mom take her meds? Is that little girl of mine back from school? Why did dad miss his walk this evening?
Questions like that could plague anyone who's not 24/7 with others in the family -- and we all know it's impossible to be. You could always call if you're not with them -- but we all know that's not possible either.
I found StayClose (on Android, coming soon to iOS) a sweet little app for 'real-time visibility of your family's well-being'. It's not a tracker. Here's how it works:
StayClose uses the smartphone's sensors to pick up data and turn it into a 'smart status'. You don't have to leave what you're doing if you can't and type in long messages: you just decide what sort of thing you want to share.
With a touch, the status can be sent off to family members. So, if one of your parents hasn't been active and hasn't shared a walk related status for a while, you are alerted to call and find out what's up.
The app also has reminders after it checks out your pattern. If you haven't called your mom in a while, you could get a reminder to do so.
None of this is meant to replace conversation. In fact, it can generate them -- it's up to you. Nothing stops you from calling and talking whenever you like anyway, but if you're tied up, you can check in with a touch, share a tiny video or share a status.
There's no butting into anyone's privacy as it's entirely up to the family members what they'd like to share with the app. And it's certainly not public, like Facebook or Twitter.
StayClose can also spot trends in behavior. Going out, for example, or being active. This can really be quite a help in say, preventing health problems from getting worse.
StayClose is actually working on getting connected with all sorts of other devices which will add to its usefulness. For instance, a blood pressure instrument, a glucometer, or a fitness tracker.
In that sense, it's a real Internet of Things app.
Lila Ray is a corporate consultant who likes her gadgets almost more than her shoes. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
StayClose: A Family Caring App | TechTree.com
StayClose: A Family Caring App
Not a tracker, not a chat window. This app lets family members share a touch, a status, or data to care more
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