As a teenager, my parents constantly hounded me about where I was going, and when I would return. I didn’t have a cellphone, so communication was limited. Flash forward ten years and although many teenagers have cell phones now, it’s still annoying for kids and teens to constantly communicate with parents and worrisome for parents to not know of their children’s whereabouts. A new app will soon launch to help solve this problem. I’mOK, which is in private beta, is a private mobile application designed to reward kids for staying connected to their parents.
By sharing their location, taking pictures, tagging friends, and telling parents what’s up, kids earn points that can be exchanged for things parents have agreed to, like allowance or special privileges. The more kids share, the more points they get.
All the communication takes place directly within the I’mOK iPhone app, which creates a private network for families. The app will also automatically tally all communications from kids. And an Android app will also be released shortly.
The company was founded by Matthew Bromberg, who was previously CEO of Major League Gaming and head of AOL Games, Moviefone, and Techweb. Other employees include Julio Miyares, ex-CTO of AOL Entertainment, and John Rabasa, who was most recently EVP, Experience Strategy for Publicis Modem USA. The startup has raised $250,000 from Bromberg, Machinima CEO Allen Debevoise and Chamath Palihapitiya, VP for Mobile and International at Facebook.
I think I’mOK’s idea has promise. As a teenager, I would have beeen much more likely to share my location and communicate with my parents, if I was somehow incentivized. The challenge, of course, will be convincing parents to actually reward kids for sharing.