July 19, 2007 -- Think the iPhone is the only new game in town? No way. There's a whole world of cool things you can get for your cell phone that will allow you to monitor your kids, your home and your health like never before. GMA contributor and Wall Street Journal guru Wendy Bounds shares some tips about cutting-edge new products.
Three out of four homes have cell phones, keeping parents and children connected across town and across the country. Now parents can use their cell phones to keep a better eye on their children by monitoring who they can and can't call.
Radar allows parents to enter phone numbers into a computer program, to limit incoming and outgoing calls. If someone outside of the call list attempts to contact that phone, parents are alerted.
"You can read the text of every message that is sent to your child. For instance, if you notice the soccer coach is calling and messaging your child five times a day, you can find out what that adult is saying to your child," Bounds said.
Radar is currently $9.95 a month, and only works with BlackBerry's Pearl Phone, but the company expects to include other phones and systems soon.
iControl can turn your cell phone into a remote control for your home, anywhere that you can connect to the Internet. For instance, you can turn on your lights while you are away from home or start your air conditioner just before you arrive.
"This is really the next evolution of the cell phone, as a device that you use to communicate not just with other people, but with the other devices we rely on," Bounds said of the service that costs $14.95 per month.
Health Gear comes from the Microsoft research team. You hook it up to noninvasive sensors that then monitor your pulse rate. It uses the cell phone to transmit and store this data -- providing an incredible insight for your doctor or care provider.
"If you wear it when you sleep, your doctor may be able to measure whether you are suffering from sleep apnea, where you actually stop breathing for short periods of time," said Bounds. "It's much less expensive and difficult than coming into a sleep lab and spending the night wired to machines."