A revolutionary new app designed to keep children safe on their phones has been designed and launched by a small team based in Wiltshire.
The app, created by Cricklade-based Supotco, allows parents to remotely manage the download and screentime of apps and games, manage which websites their child can visit, and screen calls and contacts. It can even locate where their youngsters are.
Its creators believe it is a world-first, with no other app offering such a comprehensive package of protection features for children.
Supotco, which has already grown to a six-strong team, is an approved recipient for SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) funding, and has already attracted investment of around £130,000. Further funding will help the team develop the product and expand its market.
The app – also called Supotco – is the brainwave of entrepreneur Alex Mitchell, who has had a long career in telecoms and has lived in Wiltshire for five years. Alex had his lightbulb moment when his son, Artyom, asked for his first phone; Alex wanted to make sure his son would be safe.
“There isn’t anything at all out there at the moment which is like this,” said Alex. “There are apps which have some of the features we have, but nothing which brings them all together.”
Children need an Android phone to operate Supotco, with the parents using an online dashboard to customise it, which can be accessed from any smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop.
Already, mobile network operators are expressing an interest in offering Supotco as part of a package for customers.
Supotco even lets parents see where their child is on a map. The child can call for help at any time, simply by holding down their contacts button; all “parents” in the Supotco account will receive the help request from the child/ren with instant current location and status information.
Parents aren’t the only potential market for the app.
Supotco would be ideal for older people wanting a simple, easy phone, or for companies wanting a tracking system for staff.
The app has an emergency button feature, which means it would be a much cheaper alternative to panic buttons older people use to call for help.
Alex said: “Our aim is to enable parents to manage the inevitable introduction of their children to the interconnected world. Supotco allows parents to provide a simple way for their children to avoid unnecessary contacts, harassment and cyber bullying when using a mobile phone. If the parent does not add a feature, app or contact then the child cannot access that feature and neither can that feature access the child.”
The app also has an inbuilt messaging system which allows children to stay in touch anywhere in the world and Contact Circles for secure contact groups.
Why the name? Supotco is ‘octopus’ backwards; octopi have eight legs and arms they use for control. Supotco puts the control back in the hands to whom it belongs; parents, carers and guardians.
Subscribers can have a two-week free trial, after which time the cost is £3.65 per month, per child.
For more information, visit www.supot.co