Our CEO and CTO sat down with Greg McNeil of the Cape Breton Post, a local newspaper from the Saltwire network. The following is taken from the official publication:
NEW WATERFORD, N.S.
Patsy Leadbeater still vividly recalls a 2017 educational expedition through the forests of England that quickly turned from a fun castle tour and some obstacle course activities to several moments of panic when a child became overwhelmed by the situation.
A teacher at the time, she had to assist that student through the obstacle course while trusting the other five-year-old students in her group to remain in their designated spot while she handled the situation.
That moment became one of the inspirations for a better way to monitor students on school trips. And not long after her startup known as Commlet Technologies was created as a tech supervision tool designed to ensure accountability for school boards and peace of mind for parents.
“Halfway through that day I’m standing on a hill with the head teacher and I said ‘this is so archaic,’” the New Waterford native recalled, during a recent interview at Sydney’s Navigate House.
“I have a list of children in my back pocket on a piece of paper. I said ‘I have a chip in my dog’s back for 10 years, I can look on my app, change the temperature in my house. We know where our cars are because we have GPS but our children are our most valuable asset and we don’t even know where they are.”
Commlet Technologies Features
- Auto grouping
- Mobile or iPad use
- Real-time live tracking
- History for accountability
- Proximity alerts
- Call, SOS, text
- Water resistant
Her technology that’s rapidly closing in on a beta test is designed to provide extra supervision support during all indoor, outdoor and extracurricular activities.
Essentially, it is a communication bracelet with features like notifications to staff when students have left the set location, ongoing GPS monitoring of a student’s whereabouts, and even a heart rate monitor.
“One of the benefits of having the GPS bracelets is I don’t have to count children all day,” said Leadbeater. “That’s all I was doing, keeping them corralled, keeping them together and keeping them safe. Education was always secondary, so we could spend more time talking to children about what kind of tree that is, when it is in season, and having deep conversations we couldn’t have before.”
There’s also an app component that cuts down on the preparation time for teachers readying for school outings. Keeping track of medications, allergies, and special needs are some of the things the app could make easier for educators trying to give the most vulnerable children the appropriate supervision.
“If you are making a list you have to think, ‘well Bradley runs, Rebecca has a bee sting allergy.’ If you are making a list you have to think of these things you don’t want to give a parent volunteer who hasn’t done it before.”
The app works as a stand-alone device but the GPS bracelet will only work in conjunction with the app.
In 2018, Commlet was one of four early-stage companies to earn seed funding from the Spark Cape Breton competition.
Leadbeater said it is designed with schools in mind but could be implemented across many platforms.
Interest in Commlet has already come from Florida, Massachusetts, Australia and Africa.