How a $4.99 App Gave Parents Hope After the 9.0 Earthquake in Japan on March 12th

As many of you know, I am a total geek when it comes to using technology to do more with less. As the owner of a marketing services company, I also work with tech clients as a consultant to help them  figure out their sales and marketing go-to-market strategy. One of my clients creates audio and GPS tour guide apps (GeoRoamer Yellowstone is the first of several new apps coming this spring) so when I heard about this story using similar technology, I had to share it with you, and after reading this, I know you will be sharing it with your friends too.

Let’s go back to the devastation of the 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan on March 12, 2011. We were all watching in shock as the news videos and reports were coming in. The toughest thing was for families and friends to try to reach their loved ones by phone, email, and any means to see if they were okay… and of course, hundreds and thousands of people could not be reached, phone lines that were working were over wrought and calls were not getting through – remember that awful busy sound you’d hear when trying to call someone 20+ years ago?

Well, one family had made a purchase of an app called TekTrak. (Okay, my son also has this app and was successful in getting his lost phone back by tracking it using this app so I know first hand it works and saved me from buying a new iPhone to replace it if he couldn’t have gotten it back…) But I digress.

This family in Japan, whose daughter was at school which was about an hour’s ride from home began to worry about how their daughter was doing after the earthquake – they remembered the app they put on her phone which had a GPS component to track the phones location… so they immediately began to track her movement, which was encouraging because she was moving.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I would be running out the door towards her school to get her to safety. But these parents had the presence of mind to check with the tracking system. They saw that she was not staying in the same place and through the GPS (which does not require cell service to use) they could see where she was going as they tracked her with TekTrak.

Oh – yeah, it took 7 hours for the daughter to get home… to her anxious parents. But they knew she was on her way as they tracked her with technology!!

location tracking with TekTrak

Location tracking after the earthquake with TekTrak

I can tell you that skipping a Starbucks or dessert and putting that $5 into an app that you may never need but could be a lifesaver is well worth it… Okay, I admit I won’t give up my Angry Birds app for it but there are plenty of other things you can do for yourself and your family… and one of them is getting an emergency preparedness kit together (here are several to check out www.quakekare.com, www.essentialpacks.com and a list from the Ready.gov site to put together yourself: www.ready.gov/america/getakit) no matter where you live – you should have one… and if all possible, get this app from TekTrak, if cell service goes out… you can still track your loved ones via the TekTrak app!

3 thoughts on “How a $4.99 App Gave Parents Hope After the 9.0 Earthquake in Japan on March 12th

  1. Listed below is how this works for further clarification:

    GPS is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites that circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user’s exact location. iPhones use A-GPS or “Assisted GPS” which in basic terms accesses an intermediary server when it is not possible to connect directly via satellite — indoors, for example — and this server provides the nearest satellite with additional information to make it possible to more accurately determine a users position. Apple explains that the iPhone also use “wi-fi hotspots and cellular towers to get the most accurate location fast” when GPS is not the most convenient method of location detection. The iPhone adds an integrated digital compass to also provide the direction one is facing, which is quite useful when combined with mapping software. Long story short, it’s A-GPS, or assisted GPS, which means most of the time it uses the cell towers and Wi-Fi to help triangulate (but doesn’t necessarily need help).

  2. Shiran says:

    So Inspiring! What a great app! The kind of apps you wish you’d never use, but if you need it – you’d wish you had it!

    It probably made the difference between a freaked out family looking for their daughter, to a calm one.

    Way to Go TekTrak!! and technology!!

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