MobileMinder is a new service that has just launched, designed to help parents keep an eye on their children via a Web app that works in conjunction with a child’s phone to keep a watch on what they’re up to in a number of innovative ways.

Beyond simply showing the child on a map, MobileMinder offers a feature that allows a child to send a call for help when they’re lost. This sends the child’s location on a map to the parent or an older sibling’s phone so they can help the child get to safetly. A ‘geofence’ can be set up, allowing alerts to be sent when a child strays from a certain area.

It’s not all about location though. The app can monitor children’s text messages for keywords that parents may be watching out for (the name of that kid who’s a bad influence, for example, or perhaps bad language). It lets parents monitor a child’s call history, text message history and the photos being taken with the phone’s camera. Activity on the phone is used to map out a ‘social circle’ of the people the child contacts, flagging up unknown numbers and identifying trusted contacts.

MobileMinder is a product of mm Technologies, an Irish startup which took part in the Propeller accelerator in Dublin earlier this year. We imagine that the app will probably work best with children of an age when they use a mobile phone but aren’t quite old enough to rebel against parental snooping.

mm1 MobileMinder app launches to help parents keep an eye on their kids from afar mm2 MobileMinder app launches to help parents keep an eye on their kids from afar

The app is currently available for Android, with BlackBerry and Symbian versions to follow. It’s likely that the locked down way that iOS works precludes an iPhone version, although children are far more likely to be carrying a phone running one of the other operating systems anyway.

The MobileMinder service costs $7.99 per month and more information can be found on its website.