Wednesday, August 26, 2015

GeoZilla Allows Full Access To Your Family Whenever You're Not With Them

'Tis the season when many of us are giving our children cellphones for the first time. Along with this freedom, of course, comes our need to make sure they're okay (we giveth a little freedom, we taketh a bit back for peace of mind).   Most cellphone trackers drain batteries like crazy. And what use is a tracker if your phone is dead? 


Enter GeoZilla! 


This app uses battery-friendly location tracking methods (WiFi, cell towers, etc.) as it searches for the location of your kid, or anyone in your group, when YOU ask for it as opposed to constantly tracking the location.  This feature dramatically increases your battery's life since it's not constantly draining power.  You merely push the Refresh button on your app when you want to track your someone.  GeoZilla also integrates with Facebook and Swarm so you can find your family when they check-in on social media; this saves you the trouble of logging in to social media with your family member's account credentials. When they broadcast their location to their friends, you'll know!


What else do I like about GeoZilla? 
  • You can receive a notification when someone arrives or leaves a certain area. So if your cocky 6th grader decides to detour to the local 7-11 when he's supposed to be at the library, you'll know! 
  • You can see the battery status of your child and any others in your family group. That means that when my teen's battery is low (as it too often is), I can send him a message to plug in! 
  • GeoZilla offers cross-platform location tracking, so you can share the family map with Android and IOS devices. 
  •  It offers a delayed update which stores locations so you'll never miss their whereabouts. 
  • You can send a request for your family's location to their GPS tracker so you'll always know where they are.
  • You can chat free with your child or anyone in your group and share pics and video.
  • You can leave check-ins to let people know you're okay and have arrived safely.  How helpful would that be on long trips!

In other words, GeoZilla allows your family to communicate, seamlessly, whenever you're not together!


Watch this YouTube video to learn more about GeoZilla:



I had the pleasure of asking Alex Sharov, GeoZilla's CEO and co-founder, a few questions:

Q: How did you get the idea for this app? 

Mr. Sharov: Since I travel a lot, I am always nervous not being near my daughter. She lives in Texas and is about to reach the age to have her personal cell phone (kids sure are getting older quicker these days). I wanted a way to know her location when I’m far away – to know she’s safe. The idea flourished when I met two developers and a marketer that were doing their own app exchanging geo-location side project for couples. My last jobs were building mobile apps, mostly in enterprise. So when pitching to the investor, WeRocks, he actually suggested we change the app to target families, kids first, not just couples. I connected with this right away. The main challenge of this project is giving children the feeling of parent’s presence and being aware of the events in their life, without the a parent breathing down their neck

Q: How old does a child need to be to use this app?

Mr. Sharov: Any kid that has a smartphone connected to the Internet would be perfect for this app, even if the kid does not open the app a single time. As to using this app by the kid himself, say, to see where the parents are, I’m not sure. It depends – my daughter is six and was comfortable freeing up ipad memory in the settings. I believe if all setup/sign up routine is done by the parents, kids 7 and up could easily use the app to see where his/her parents are. 

Q: Has this app been approached to track elderly adults as well?   

Mr. Sharov: Yes – the same way it's done with kids. 

Q: What modifications/improvements do you see to this app in the future?

Mr. Sharov: We're currently working on things that would ease inner-family communication like: household to-do tasks -one can assign to another member while she 's in the place (or near it), where the task can be done. For example, "Pick up laundry " at  / you assign a place / .  The tasks are geo-based and the assignee is reminded when she passes by the needed place. A la "remember to pickup laundry."

Mr. Sharov went on to say:  

Actually with the app we aim to help build trustful relationships within the family, basing on safety and care. Just to avoid "Where are you?" messages.  But not on controlling and suspicions. In general we advise parents to talk with children about why they want to install the app instead of installing it without their consent or secretly.  


Following its soft-launch for Android and iOS, the UK-based company received $450K in seed investment fromWeRocks and Angel Investors.  Special thanks to Alex Sharov for granting me this interview.

Mr. Sharov and, I'll assume, a happy customer!

Thanks for reading!

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