CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) "It's not that I don't trust my kids, it's just that you never know what's going to happen," explains parent Lisa Latterell of Chippewa Falls.
The "Find My i-Phone" app is a GPS system designed to help customers find their lost or stolen phones, anywhere and at any time.
But for Latterell, of Chippewa Falls, it's so much more than just that.
"Another use we've sort of discovered recently is it's a great tracking device so if one of my children is somewhere and I want to make sure of where they are I can just pop that up, as long as they are using the internet on their phone," she explains.
Lisa is far from alone. According to one research firm, by 2016 70 million people in North America and Europe will be using similar devices to find family members.
Local law enforcement is on board with the growing trend.
"Our department has had cases of abductions in the past, we do have abilities as law enforcement to track cell phones somewhat...when we're looking for children or someone that might be in danger that's when we use those resources," says Officer Kyle Roder of the Eau Claire Police Department.
"For me the biggest issue is if they weren't able to use their phone, if they got into a car accident, as long as the iPhone is available I can check in on them without have to text them or bother them," adds Latterell.
The "Find My iPhone" app is just one example. There are many other tracking devices available for different smart phones and service providers.