Hey, where is everybody?
You set the groceries down, call out the names of your family, and take a quick look around. Then you check your cell.
With the Pinnum phone app, you’ve got GPS meets social media. You can see exactly where everyone in your household is - your wife is on the freeway, your son is at the ballfield and your daughter is at the next door neighbor’s.
You send each of them a quick text - "steaks on the grill in 30!"
The responses come fast. "Mom’s picking me up in 10." "Can Emily come 2?" And from your wife -"My hero!"
Gathering the troops is only one of many uses for the new Pinnum app, which is free to end users like project manager Mario Moraila.
"It takes away a lot of the anxiety over being a single parent," said Moraila. "I’m often gone overnight. I can see what my son Christian is doing and - just as important - he can see what I’m doing."
That’s how Moraila sold the idea of using the GPS-based app to his son. It’s not Big Brother - it’s about staying connected, feeling loved and being safe. If you don’t want to be tracked, simply turn on the "stealth" feature and you’re off the grid.
Moraila and Christian have used the app for over eight months. They enjoy creating groups to follow just like social media, and refreshing the screen to see where friends and family are and what they’re doing next.
And, suggests Moraila, the app is also a lifesaver in an emergency.
"We had a scare at Christian’s school one day. Someone had something in their backpack and the school called the parents," recalls Moraila. "I was able to go on Pinnum and pinpoint the classroom where he was and I knew he was all right."
Pinnum is also a great safety tool for women, suggests real estate broker Debbie Ferrari."
"I have 25 agents, nearly all of whom are women," said Ferrari. "I’ve always cautioned them about going out and meeting people they don’t know. If they’re on Pinnum and showing properties, we can track them down. What if they can’t make a phone call? It’s a safety apparatus. And if they don’t want the office to know where they are, they can put their phones on Stealth."
Ferrari’s husband Bill Koelzer added, "The business has changed. It used to be early evenings and weekends. Now you may show property at any time. If your wife is a Realtor and there is any deviation of where she said she was going to be and you can’t reach her by phone, I’d alert the police. You can send her location to the police and they can check it out quickly."
You can think of hundreds of examples from the news where the Pinnum app could have been a lifesaver.
"If those kids who got lost in the mountains for days had Pinnum, they would have been rescued before sundown," said Pinnum founder John Giaimo. "There’s terrific potential for police, forest rangers and firefighters to save lives."
What about ordinary flat tires and car breakdowns? You can quickly call for help and send a screenshot of your Pinnum location to emergency services. And if your phone goes dead, someone you know has probably sent your Pinnum to the appropriate authorities.
But hey, you don’t have to use Pinnum just for emergencies. It’s great for business, too.
Suggested Giaimo, "Businesses can see the movement of their drivers, field staff or equipment. Another great use for pinnum is the "Group" function which allows for Public or Private group notification, messaging and mapping."
"We have meetings frequently," said Koelzer. "Sometimes our agents are late, and you can check where everybody is and whether to wait a few minutes or get started."
It’s a great app for locating and communicating with people you know. Create groups - coaches and players so you can find the right field quickly. Friends - find the new restaurant downtown without getting lost on one-way streets.
And it’s free. Visit www.pinnum.com .