The authorities have their hands full with cases and must priorities which cases to focus on the most (if at all). There are multiple websites and services to provide assistance. Then, for the more hardcore cases, there’s the Amber Alert system which, since 1997 has helped find over 525 missing children.
In a vast majority of cases, what leads to the finding of a missing child is a tip from the general public. Unfortunately, Amber Alerts and headlines fade in short order. Posters and flyers tatter and wear and the stream of information being circulated to the public dries up. All that is about to change. There is another set of equally impressive numbers that, when properly harnessed and focused, can keep the news flowing and search parties growing for as long as the child is missing.
There are over 100 million smart phones in circulation and a billion people on Facebook. Mobile phones and pads have become a more utilized media by adults than newspapers and magazines combined. QR code scanning increased 617% during 2011 alone and over 800,000 children go missing each year. These facts serve as the basis for ChildSearch QR, a tool to help families and authorities search for missing children.
The core of the ChildSearch QR Program is a QR code that, when scanned, does the following; (1) Sends an email with a photo, facts and contact info regarding a missing child. (2) Posts a missing child alert, with the code, on a Facebook Wall for their friends to see and scan.
The average Facebook account has 229 friends (Pew Research 2012). Using this as a base, Paul Spreadbury, founder of ChildSearch QR, explains how a single scan of the code creates a self-expanding search party for a missing child. “When a ChildSearch QR Code is scanned, a missing child alert including the code is exposed to an average of 229 Facebook friends. If 10% of the 229 also scan the code, the search party grows by another 5,267. If 10% of these friends scan the code, 120,545 more see the alert. If 10% of these scan, 2,758,305 more see the alert and on it on it grows.” Spreadbury has launched a crowdfunding effort on IndieGoGo to generate fund to ‘sponsor’ ChildSearch QR Code Campaigns for families and authorities, “A ChildSearchQR Code Campaign will be dedicated in the name of a sponsor for every $20 they give, which is approximately the cost of developing the codes and backend support for a code.” ChildSearch QR is powered by GrapevineQR Viral a new marketing tool developed by OMSASIA Marketing, Hong Kong. Mr. Spreadbury, a U.S. based marketing and advertising professional was contracted by OMSASIA to develop the branding and marketing for the new social viral marketing technology. “As I was thinking of the many commercial applications the GrapevineQR Viral codes could serve and benefit when it hit me, ‘this could work gangbusters as a tool to help find missing children.’ Everyone wishes they could do something when they hear of a child gone missing. Now anyone with a Smartphone and a Facebook account can contribute in an effort to bring a child home. All it takes is one scan to get a search party started and after that it just keeps on growing until the child is found.”
ChildSearch QR Codes will be available to families of missing children and authorities in January of 2013.
View Video Demo: http://www.youtube.com/