Mobile Future

Sending out an SOS

This morning I had the privilege of talking with a senior journalism studentat the University of Maryland who is conducting a report on thewireless industry. As a part of that report, she was looking into the efforts of the industry to provide services that can deliver in a timeof need.

With that in mind, I wanted to highlight the story of Elizabeth Shoaf who was held captive in an underground bunker in South Carolina. Ms. Shoaf was able to convince her kidnapper to allow her to play gameswith his cellphone and also took the opportunity to text message her mother when he fell asleep. This led authorities to her location using triangulation and she was rescued.

An Amber Alert was not issued in the Shoaf case but they are another valuable tool in raising awareness of a missing child. The wireless industry worked withthe Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to make this happen. Any wireless subscriber can opt in to receive alerts (you will not be charged for the message alert) and you can sign up here.

Safety is your most important call and amber alerts are another way to participate in your community. Signing up takes little effort and you could make a huge difference in saving a life.