I GET SOME OF THE MOST life-changing announcements about my family through the iOS app Life360--like today's short text giving details on the arrival of a new grandson.
Life360 is like Path on steroids. If you let it run in the background, it shows your location as well as an electronic tag on a person's leg. I've told Life360 where "home" and "work" are on the map and the app accurately puts me in those places at appropriate times of the day. It's remarkable to see two daughters in different States move around their day as pinpoints on a map.
Red and black icons on Life360 shows more information than many Irish viewers might want to see. The red dots correspond to items from police blotters (i.e., traffic violations or more serious criminal offenses) and the black icons represent the last known address of registered felons or sex offenders.
Another part of the app lets me send direct or mass text messages that appear in iOS notification screens. And best of all, I get the direct (and often updated) phone numbers for my extended family living eight time zones away.
Life360 is on a steep adoption curve. As a premium user, I can see a lot of value in the information the app shares to a private audience. And unlike the broadcast conversation style of Twitter or Facebook, I like the personal dimension guaranteed by the way Life360 is engineered.
Bernie Goldbach teaches privacy issues in the creative multimedia programme at the Limerick Institute of Technology.