A GPS to find people, not directions

Not being able to find your keys is frustrating. Not being able to find a loved one can be frightening.

Location Based Technologies’ PocketFinder is a GPS device that lets you locate the holder anywhere in the United States via the Internet. PocketFinder, about the size of an Oreo cookie, can fix its location within 30 feet. Users can track someone’s whereabouts through the Internet or a Web-enabled smartphone, or by text message or phone.

PocketFinder lets you designate safety zones and danger zones, and alerts you if the device enters or leaves such areas. It can also track how fast the device is moving and notify you if a preset speed limit is exceeded (parents of teenage drivers, take note).

You can also place the PocketFinder, which is waterproof, on your pet’s collar or your luggage. The device can run up to seven days on a charge and will text, call or e-mail you when it’s running low on juice.

The PocketFinder will be available in March for $130 and a monthly service fee.


Think of it as a LoJack, but for people.

— Azadeh Ensha, New York Times News Service

Leapfrog device aimed at littlest readers

The original Tag Reading System from Leapfrog was great for young children who needed help with reading. The system used an electronic pen that scanned the words of specially coded books and read them out loud. Special icons on the page allowed older children to play games and complete challenges right in the books.

Now your littlest readers can use the Tag Junior, a smaller, simpler device meant for children 2 to 4 years old. The pen, which will cost $35 when it is released this year, will work with simpler books ($11 each) to help children learn colors, sounds, letters of the alphabet and numbers.

Shaped like a white and green frog, the Tag Junior is easier to hold than the Tag Reader. The starter kit includes one book, "If I Were," and requires a computer connection to upload new books into the pen’s on-board memory. The pen works with Windows and Mac computers, and 10 books are planned upon release.

Of course, it’s too small for a child to sit in its lap, and it can’t tuck anyone in. So the Tag Junior, while intriguing, has its limitations as a reading device.

— John Biggs, New York Times News Service

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