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GPS navigation solution running on a smartphon...

GPS navigation solution running on a smartphone (iphone) mounted to a road bike. GPS is gaining wide usage with the integration of GPS sensors in many mobile phones. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank goodness for those cute geeky intellectuals who have come up with applications for maps on phones and created for the new younger generation a piece of technology that removes the ‘stressed out’ and ‘worried’ parent as we are able to locate our ‘lost’ child through sms or a call, that is, if they are picking up their phone.

Mobile phones are mixed blessings. You can contact your child anytime you choose however, when they let their battery run flat or fail to pick up. The lack of response can drive a worried parent close to insanity or cardiac arrest. This has happened to me several times with my son, who travels frequently to the UK. One moment he is contactable and the next not answering. I would be in a mental asylum if it wasn’t for my male rational friends, who get the emergency call from me saying, ‘He’s not answering his phone, is it too early to call the police?’ and then they gently remind me that he is a young adult and can survive in this world without me panicking.

And then mobile phones do become a life saver and have definitely provided my daughter with a sense of security and safety, especially since my daughter is visually impaired. Today was a case in point, she was meeting me and a friend of ours. She climbed on the metro from Le Motte-Piquette and was  heading on line 10  to Bologne-billancourt, a little outside Paris. My friend and I were sitting in Starbucks moaning about the British weather that has swept Paris, only to receive a phone call from her to say she was lost. Naturally, we could help her, well attempt to help her. (Sadly, the google maps app on her blackberry was too small for her to read, which has given her a strong argument for an IPhone. Although the enlargement of the map was not permanent on my friends phone!)

I decided to call her back and immediately got on my blackberry to check out the map, whilst my friend pulled out her IPhone and did exactly the same. You can imagine, we all felt empowered, three woman, three phones and maps…nothing could go wrong!

Well, there was one slight problem! We were wonderful woman and none of us really knew or know which way is North and technically, ‘we can’t read a map.’ If it wasn’t for the pin on the map app that shows us where we are, we are lost; we would all be lost. (I know this is a grand generalisation but I only have one friend who is good at directions, and she is a Geography teacher!)

We were feeling brave and after all we are intelligent, so the effort in trying to direct my daughter to a coffee shop inside a shopping centre, should’ve been a breeze. But because of my daughter’s visual impairment, she was unable to read all the road signs. To top that off, when we attempted to give her directions we were using words like: that way, straight ahead and what can you see? So we were basically, asking her to list the shops and any noticeable landmarks that would give us a sense of where she was…what should’ve taken a maximum time of fifteen minutes, took us an hour to find her…

And whilst she was lost, I was not worried thanks to mobiles/cells but I was wondering if their was any cute geeky intellectual who could design maps for woman? Maybe some fabulous landmarks and note worthy shops like BHV, Chanel, Zara, bars and buildings? Mobiles/Cell, GPS have saved many marriages, I am sure but there is still room for improvement, surely? And whilst they are working on that mapforwoman app, which will be revolutionary- is it all possible  that these brilliant minds can find a way to tag phones in such a manner that one could track the owner of a phone, like an irresponsible 18-year-old? Especially, when his mobile has run out of battery or he is ignoring his mother’s calls because he is having too much fun to respond to her worry?

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