Three Apps for Dads on the Road

PHOTO: New technologies bring dad home even when he cant physically be there.Courtesy Christopher Talbot
New technologies bring dad home even when he can't physically be there.

How can dads use technology to share the meaningful moments even when they’re stuck in an airport hotel? Naturally, there’s an app for that.

Here are three apps that help fathers stay on top of their kids’ athletic pursuits, share their artistic masterpieces with family and friends, and read them a bedtime story, face-to-face, from the rental car shuttle or across the ocean.

GameChanger

It’s the bottom of the ninth (or, as is the case in most Little League games, the seventh). There are two outs, bases loaded, and little Jimmy or Jenny is up. The excitement is palpable, only you’re stuck in a hotel bar in Salt Lake City, 1,000 miles away. Fear not, GameChanger is here to help. This app lets you experience the thrill of your kid’s game, in real time, with professional level statistic tracking and animation no matter where you are.

WHAT TO KNOW
  • There are ways to connect to home if you're on the road.
  • Apps can help parents stay on top of their kids’ athletic pursuits, share their artistic masterpieces with family and friends, and read them a bedtime story face-to-face.

Created by former minor leaguer Ted Sullivan, GameChanger delivers an animated simulation of a Little League baseball game (as well as for softball and basketball, with lacrosse on the way) as it’s being played, compiling and updating a live summary of the action. “Think of the dad overseas on military duty, or the dad that’s traveling for business, or the dad stuck at the office— it’s heart wrenching,” Sullivan, a young father himself, says. “Also the grandfather, not to be forgotten, who, these days, is living on the iPad and sitting on the couch halfway across the country on a Saturday morning.”

But GameChanger also improves the experience for the dads in the bleachers, too. “If you actually go to a youth game and sit in the bleachers, what you’ll often hear is, ‘what’s the score? Who’s that kid out of right field? Has my kid hit yet?’ Nobody has any idea what’s going on,” Sullivan says. GameChanger not only answers those questions, it also helps inform dads who never played the sport. This is an app that hits for the cycle, and if you’re a dad who doesn’t know what that means but has a kid in Little League; this is definitely the app for you.

Keepy

Modern dads want to share their kids’ incredible artistic oeuvre, as well as their first steps, gleeful birthday parties and that first lost tooth, with relatives far and wide. Enter Keepy, which lets proud dads share their junior Picasso’s latest masterpiece, or a video of his game-winning three-pointer, with friends and family members.

More than just a glorified Instagram account for your children, Keepy allows you to record yourself, or your kid, sharing the story behind each photo. All friends and family have to do is sign into the Keepy network. Now dad can share Junior’s impressionist take on the family dog. What’s more, those in your Keepy network can offer their glowing reviews of the uploaded photo in the form of voice, video or text comments. Consider it the fridge door of the future.

Kindoma

You may have noticed that children under the age of 7 have a difficult time sustaining a phone call or video chat. The short attention span makes it difficult to Skype the bedtime story when you’re away on business.

Enter Kindoma, an app that allows dads to pick from a slew of children’s stories that appear on the screen and read them from afar, with both father and child able to see each other in the corner of the screen. The interface allows father and child to turn the pages together. Kindoma has a shadowed finger that appears on the screen to turn the pages of the story (there are two different colored fingers representing dad and child), as well as allowing your children to point to things in the book and ask questions.

By providing content kids love, no ocean, mountain range or state line can keep a dad from connecting with his child.