by ADN

October 25, 2016

Many new tech gadgets are being developed today that can address the risks to people with cognitive conditions who have a tendency to wander away and get lost.  In this two part series, we will look first at why new solutions for those that wander are needed and some new techie tools that might help. While perhaps not their original intention, these tools may may have prevented some of the recent tragedies.

According to the National Autism Association, about half of children with autism are prone to wandering away from their homes and a third cannot communicate their name, address or other helpful information.

Finding lost children with autism is even harder. Many of these children hate loud noises and will run away or hide when their names are called.  The job of those trying to locate them becomes even more than difficult.

Recently there have been a number of terrible outcomes. In April, Alyvia Navarro, 3, from Massachusetts  drowned. A similar story unfolded in May when the body of Owen Elliot Black, 7, was discovered in water in Florida. Last month,  a confused and naked 11-year-old girl was found wandering a highway along  in Oregon. Police, misunderstanding her behavior, responded by using a Taser on her.

These stories are not unique. On a regular basis those with autism are reported missing on Missing Autism Alerts Facebook Page.


Tech Tool – the Neo System

By using gadgets like the Nio System from the NioStore, public safety agencies and the concerned families can find and rescue people more effectively. The traditional search methods could be eliminated as they often take a long time to lead to the people lost. People caring about their loved ones with autism who have wandered away could begin to get that important peace of mind with the thought that there is s way to bring them back safely. It is being branded as the “Unforgettable Accessory”.

Nio System is similar to a SafetyNet System developed by LoJack. SafetyNet is offered as a system, which could be worn as a bracelet for people suffering with autism, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who were at risk of wandering away frequently. These people could be tracked by means of signals emitting from the bracelet once they were lost.


Features of the Neo System

–        Nio Tag – It is a Bluetooth accessory, which can be attached to any valuable device or possession. The valuable device and the Nio Tag work in tandem as a link system and let off an alarm if they become detached or separated.

–        Nio App – The protection chain is complete when the Nio Tag is bought, the Nio App is downloaded and that App is connected on to any device and then  on to the Nio System. The Nio App can be downloaded to the iPhone or iPad from the app Store for free.

–        Bluetooth 4.0 is used to connect wirelessly to the device.

–        Nio Premium App – can be bought from the App Store to avail of extra security features.


Highlights of the Neo System

The Nio System protects the phone or tablet devices, but being creative it can also protect autistic individuals from becoming lost.  Nio can be clipped on to whatever device as a means of protecting it. If the tag and the device get separated, the alarm alerts. The clip could be used as a lanyard around the neck. The Nio Premium App can be downloaded to protect up to three valuable items and all three Nios could be used with one single device system.


  • Distance settings – There is a range of options that could be selected to set the distance and how far the devices could go before the Nio System sends out a warning alert. It could be anywhere from a distance of two feet to twenty feet away. The alarm could be set on both the Nio as well as the smartphone or it could be set on vibrating mode.
  • It is Lightweight – The Nio System weighs only ten grams and it does not weigh people down.
  • Long Charge – Nio holds on to a charge for almost three months.

With such a safety gadget technology and a price tag of $70, there are no disadvantages. The one challenge may be to keep the item attached to the autistic person.

About the author 


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