Apps to Provide Peace of Mind With a Teenager Behind the Wheel

Q. I have a new teenage driver in the family. What’s the best way to keep tabs on his whereabouts when he is out with the car? Will regular location-tracking phone apps work?

A. As long as you and the teenage driver agree to use a location-tracking app on your phones, the software should give you an idea of where he is at any given moment. Several apps and services for monitoring location through a smartphone can be found online. But keep in mind that you may not get the latest updates if the teenager loses his phone, its battery runs out or a network signal is unavailable.

Some location-tracking services include features specifically for keeping tabs on young drivers. For example, Life 360’s Driver Protect for Android and iOS is one option in this category and includes roadside assistance, a “Safe Drive Review” report for parents to see where the driver went (and how fast), arrival alerts, crash detection and emergency response tools. A Driver Protect subscription is $7.99 a monthbut comes with a free seven-day trial.

Photo

The Life360 Driver Protect app, one of several subscription services that track drivers, guides a new user through setting up a “circle” for family members to see one another on a map. Once configured, the app collects GPS and other data from the driver’s phone to show location, route and other information. Credit The New York Times

For parents who do not want to rely solely on information collected from the phone, a number of companies make vehicle-monitoring kits that use a small gadget that plugs into the car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD-II) port, usually found under the dashboard. Through its companion smartphone app, the device reports the car’s location, speed, braking information, driving history and more. You need to buy the OBD-II adapter (typically less than $80) and pay a monthly subscription fee. Prices vary based on the company, but Bouncie, Hum and MotoSafety are three car-tracking products to consider.

Newer vehicles may have optional tracking tools and custom apps available, so check your car’s user manual if you think these may be available. If the car already has the OnStar vehicle-safety service, you can add its FamilyLink monitoring feature for $3.99 a month.

Welcoming a new motorist into the family these days involves more than just driver’s education classes and adding the teenager to the insurance policy. Distracted driving incidents from texting or fiddling with other technology in the car are dangers that most older generations of drivers did not experience. The National Safety Council has information and app suggestions online for reducing distracted driving. Additionally, the council’s DriveItHome.org site hosts a series of detailed guides for parents of new driver

Even for parents who opt for less electronic surveillance of their teenage drivers, there is software to suggest for the new driver. Apps for the family’s insurance company, navigational aids and roadside-assistance tools can provide help when needed and minimize that invasive feeling.

SimpliSafe Home Security Service May Also Provide Small Business Solution

As the name implies, it is very easy to install the SimpliSafe security system and using it for your small business will save you lots of money.

Securing the place we live and work in used to be a task best left for professional, but like almost every other industry, digital technology is also democratizing security. SimpliSafe Home Security lets you install a wireless security system with all the bells and whistles, without needing an expert and paying an arm and a leg for it.

The SimpliSafe System

As the name implies, it is very easy to install the SimpliSafe system. It comes pre-programmed to work out of the box, and you won’t need to drill any holes or use wires, which saves hundreds on installation alone.

The Packages and Custom Build

You have the option of getting different business packages or you can custom build one for the perfect system. A business 5 piece package is as little as $229.96. You can get some that have as many as 13 components and you can even add more pieces to them for a total of up to 41.

If you decide to build your own, it starts with a core unit that includes the base station, wireless keypad and master keychain. From here, you can add all of the sensors, panic button, keypad, keychains, as well as the siren the company offers. This includes entry, motion, glass break, water, and freezer sensors.

SimpliSafe Security Monitoring Plans

One of the biggest drawbacks of traditional security systems is the monthly fees of the contracts that lock you in with multi-year commitments. With SimpliSafe, you get 24/7 professional alarm monitoring for less than 50 cents per day without annual contracts, and you can cancel anytime.

Access

Once the system is installed, you will have access to your business with your smartphone no matter where you are. The base houses a SIM card for cellular connectivity, and it has a backup battery that works in the event of a power outage.

As the name implies, it is very easy to install the SimpliSafe security system and using it for your small business will save you lots of money.

Conclusion

The system is easy to set up, wireless, without a long term contract allowing you to cancel anytime. It has a 100 percent guarantee with paid shipping for return after 60 days. The company says that this gives customers complete control. What do you think?

Images: SimpliSafe

[“source-ndtv”]

AnswerDash: Provide Predictive Answers Before Your Customers Even Ask Them

Think about the last time you visited the FAQ section on a website.

Why must the map on how to navigate the site be sequestered away from the site itself?

Users are often forced to leave whichever page they are looking at in order to track down information somewhere else on your website. And this puts all the burden on your customers, rather than on your website where it should be. Not only must customers leave the page they are looking at to find the information they want. They are often met with pages of gray print that take time to sift through.

AnswerDash has provided an answer to this predicament. The company has eliminated the use of ‘help islands’; or separate, standalone pages that are often slapped onto sites with little to no integration into the flow of the information . Rather than being redirected to a separate page, users are able to access a tab on the page itself and search from there.

This is the exact opposite of the standard help island formula. As AnswerDash representative Morgan Moretz said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “AnswerDash is the next generation of website self-service that gives users the right answers, at the right place, at the right time.

“With AnswerDash, digging through knowledge base articles is avoided. Lengthy typing sessions back-and-forth in a live chat window, whether with a bot or a human, are avoided. Phone calls are avoided. Although this type of ‘in-context’ help has been a concept known to computer scientists for decades, AnswerDash is the first company ever to provide it as a SaaS-based answer layer that can grow over time as Web visitors ask new questions.”

AnswerDash also makes use of analytics, providing the site with data about which questions are asked most often. This data, in turn, provides insights into what is causing potential customers to unsubscribe, abandon carts, or just leave, so that the issues can be addressed and fixed. “Our data shows that 5 to 15 percent of customers on a website will use AnswerDash to get answers to their questions,” Moretz mentions, “That’s 50 to 150 times as much usage as most online businesses that rely on help islands to provide answers.”

According to AnswerDash’s own case study (PDF), its tool helps to reduce customer support volumes by up to 50 percent, which means customers are spending more time looking at your product, not an FAQ. Not only do they spend less time searching for answers, but they also spend less time contacting support phone lines, live chat options, or email. (These solutions can be costly or inconvenient for both parties anyway.) By simply accessing a small tab at the top of the page, users are able to access a list of questions and issues giving them information as quickly as possible.

Creating a streamlined system is critical to retaining customers on your site. When users encounter problems, they often become frustrated, and negative experiences do not bring about repeat customers. Instead, AnswerDash tried to design its system to minimize reliance on huge Q&A sections or frustrating  customer support.

Moretz says, “In recognition of most people’s desire to solve their own problems rather than contacting customer support, AnswerDash makes getting self-service answers easy — much easier than FAQs or other help islands. In fact, most customers never need to type a single word when getting answers with AnswerDash since it’s based on the power of point-and-click.

Image: AnswerDash

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Rovio Creates New Company Hatch to Provide Subscription-Based Video Game Service

Rovio Creates New Company Hatch to Provide Subscription-Based Video Game Service

Rovio Creates New Company Hatch to Provide Subscription-Based Video Game Service
HIGHLIGHTS
The app is expected to launch next year
Initially 100 games from 40 partners will be available
Will start as invite-only app on Android
Rovio, the Finnish company behind the highly successful mobile game series Angry Birds, has announced the creation of a new company named Hatch Entertainment that is working on a subscription-based service for mobile video games. This is expected to be the first-of-its-kind service for mobile video games when it arrives in 2017.

Hatch was announced by Rovio at a tech conference in Finland named Slush, as reported by Venture Beat. Even though Rovio worked towards the development of the service, it decided that that it decided to separate it from itself so that Hatch can work independently and attract a wider range of developers, as per the report.

Instead of downloading the game, the service will allow users to stream the games through the app. As per Hatch, the cloud infrastructure is strong enough to provide a fluid gameplay without any latency. Even though the app will come as free-to-play, it will provide the option of going ad-free via subscription.
Users will get the option to choose from 100 games offered by the first 40 partners. The list includes names like Bandai Namco Entertainment America, Taito Corporation, Ubisoft Mobile, ustwo Games, and Double Fine Productions, as per the report.
Users will further be able to share clips of their gameplay videos and see what their friends are playing through this app. The officials from Hatch have reportedly said that it will start next year as an invite-only service for select Android users as the company is working on refining the app

Tags: Hatch Entertainment, Rovio, Apps, Gaming, Android

[“Source-Gadgets”]