I’mOK Jumps out of Beta and onto your Child’s Phone

I’mOK Jumps out of Beta and onto your Child’s Phone

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There is a conversation held over and over between parents and children that is as old as the first Motorola flip-phones: the conversation on purchasing your teenager a cell phone. Kids always have the best arguments, “I’ll only use it to stay in touch with you,” “I promise to check in every hour on the hour,” “I won’t use it for games”. These normally result in a shiny new phone, and a huge jump in text and data usage.

Over the weekend, I’mOK launched out of beta and set out to keep kids true to their word. The app creates a private network so that children can keep in touch with their parents, notifying them about where they are, and rewards check-ins with kid-created and parent-supported goals and milestones.

Some may be worried that this is encouraging parents to take on the Big Brother roll, but Matthew Bromber, founder and CEO of I’mOK disagrees. In an earlier interview, Matthew told us, “I’mOK is very much a reaction against this idea that you can use technology to solve every problem. Clearly, you can track a kid 24/7 if you want to, but as a parent, that is not really that useful. First of all, it is too much information. But also it creates a really negative feedback vibe. On the other hand, turning staying in touch into a game, turns something from a negative spying vibe into something that is just fun for everybody.”

I'mOK Rewards Check-ins

I’mOK turned to gamification to encourage kids to stay in touch. With every geo-located tag, kids are rewarded points towards goals that they choose for themselves. Movie tickets, allowance, and computer time are all worthy goals that kids work towards anyways, and parents get the peace of mind to know that their children are safe.

This is also core to I’mOK’s business model. According to a Mashable article, Matthew hopes that parents and kids will build towards items and encourage spending within the app. This allows an ease-of-use for quickly turning to purchases, but as Matthew told us earlier, the strength isn’t in quick purchases, “It’s not just the parents saying, ‘this is what I’m going to give you’. It’s everybody having a conversation and agreeing what you’re working for.”

Every good parent has tools for staying connected with their kids, be it camping trips, family outings, or just a game night at the house. This app can support the day-to-day communication between parents and kids, just letting them know that “I’m Ok”.

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