Although the information is available for free on each state's sex offender registry Web site, Wakefield said they charge a price for the full version because the technology to power their service is expensive. The information may be free online, but their tool makes it easier for the public to access it, he said.
"Our goal is to have the most accurate, most cutting edge tool," he said. "It's all about convenience."
But legal experts and those who work in public safety offer words of caution.
Each state maintains a registry of sex offenders who are required to disclose their addresses. But each state also varies in terms of the laws surrounding the prosecution and tracking of sex offenders. And, even the state databases (from which Offender Locator draws its information) are not always up to date and entirely accurate.
"People have to be really careful. If you look at the various state Web sites, they all have disclaimers saying you can't trust the information," said Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "You rely at your own risk."
Sometimes the lists include sex offenders who have died or have not been updated with the latest addresses, he pointed out. You could look at the list and, depending on what you find, feel safe or threatened, but the feeling wouldn't necessarily be based on accurate information.
Wakefield conceded that tracking the nearly 700,000 registered sex offenders (according to the non-profit Stop Child Predators) is an arduous task. He said some of the less populous states are a few months behind but added that in a few months they intend to automate the process so that the system updates every two days.
For their part, child protection advocates back technology that makes this information more accessible to the public.
Stacie Rumenap, president of Stop Child Predators, acknowledged that that "there's always going to be some room for error" when it comes to technology that is aggregating information related to the hundreds of thousands of sex offenders.
But she applauded the ThinAir for offering technology that helps keep children safe.
"We would caution parents to make sure that they would know their neighbors and look at the information and read it like they would read any information," she said. But, ultimately, said about the company behind the app, "we commend them."
Smoking marijuana is known to have an adverse effect on memory and concentration, but now, thanks to a new iPhone application, even the foggiest of users should be able to locate their connection -- make that medicinal marijuana provider -- with relative ease.
Launched by AJNAG (Activists Justifying the Natural Agriculture of Ganja), a Web-based community advocating for medical marijuana, the Cannabis app takes those seeking medicinal marijuana through the entire process of obtaining it. The app is downloadable from Apple's store for $2.99.
"Our goal is to put the power of cannabis change in your pocket while you enjoy the most sticky and potent iPhone application available!" the founders say in a statement on their Web site.
Here's how it works. The application displays an interactive map dotted with doctors who can prescribe medicinal marijuana treatment for their patients.