FRANKLIN – It was fear, not a business success, that prompted Franklin parent Cody King to create his first app.
Two years ago, King, 35, said he began to be haunted that he might accidentally leave one of his three daughters locked in a hot car. While that's never happened to him or anyone he knows, King feared it might.
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"It was actually keeping me awake at night," said King, who is a vice president at Quorum Health Resources. "I was actually losing sleep."
Not one to sit by, King set out to create a solution to stop accidental child deaths.
Two years of late nights and hard work later, King and his team of designers have launched their "Remember the Kids" app.
Available at the iTunes store for $1.99, the app deploys an algorithm that tracks a user's movements coordinating between Wi-Fi, GPS and cell towers. When a driver stops for three minutes or longer, the app sends out an automatic alert asking "Did you Remember the Kids?"
The app comes amid years of national media attention about the deaths of children left locked in cars. A recent analysis by USA Today found an average of 38 children have died in hot cars each year in the U.S. since 1998.
King isn't the first to create a device or a digital tool for parents looking to avoid potential tragedy. But King notes that the "Remember the Kids" app is the one option that's always working because the app never shuts off after being downloaded.
"These events happen when it's the trip you weren't planning," he said.
King said he wants parents to use as many reminders or tools as necessary. (He drives with a teddy bear in his lap.)
While he's sleeping better, he's urging parents to take whatever means are available to prevent a tragedy.
"Don't just use our solutions; do other things (and) anything you can do to prevent this from happening," King said. "Fight this with everything you have."