At Sprout Insights, we comb the web to bring you the most up-to-date and actionable resources on how to use social media to grow your business.

To that end, we’re pleased to present the Sprout Insights series Spotlight on Startups. We’ll find the most innovative, useful startup companies out there, get the inside track on what they’re doing, and tell you how you can leverage their products and services for your own business.

This week we’re pleased to cast the spotlight on AirCover Family Locator  — a location-based, personal security app — headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

What Is AirCover Family Locator?

The Family Locator app is the latest iteration of San Francisco-based app maker, AirCover. What originally started out as an all-in-one utility app for iPhones and Android-based smartphones, eventually migrated into a stand-alone, personal security app targeting today’s mobile-enabled families.

“Smartphones have become integral tools to everyday life, allowing people to go new places and do new things,” says Jason Johnson, co-founder of AirCover. “And because smartphones are so commonplace among families these days, they provide an excellent way for family members to stay connected to each other,” Johnson adds.

The AirCover Family Locator, when installed on each family member’s phone, can be used to keep track of the locations of everyone in the family. It’s ideal for parents to keep track of their kids, for example, or for occasions like business travel when a spouse wants to confirm that his or her partner arrived at the destination safely.

The app uses a smartphone’s GPS system to accurately determine the locations of its users. Built-in communication systems can be used to privately communicate between members. Alerts can be configured to send a message to one (or all) of the users if one of the members either enters, or leaves a destination that’s been programmed into the app. In cases of emergency, another feature identifies the straight-line distances between all users of the app, along with the locations of the nearest emergency services such as police stations, hospitals, and so on.

The app was launched in March 2012, and is currently being offered for free. It’s available for both iPhone and Android platforms.

What Needs Does It Address?

“Although it’s a phrase that tends to get thrown around a lot”, says Johnson, “we really are providing peace of mind for families, using tools that are virtually ubiquitous.” With families being more mobile these days, children are becoming more independent too. While it helps that more and more kids have phones to call home, or to call for help if they need it, they typically don’t call their parents just to confirm their whereabouts. “This isn’t about spying on your kids,” says Johnson, “it’s more about having a comfort level around where your family members are, and confirming that they get to where they are going.”

What happens if a kid decides to turn off the GPS locator, or even the app itself? The app will send an alert to the administrator, or head of the household, alerting him or her that the user has attempted to disable the app. The administrator (usually a parent) can then text message or call the user to inquire about the location of that individual (and presumably to ask why the locator was turned off).

The app isn’t just for kids, either. For example, an adult can use it to get notified when his or her spouse leaves the office, arrives at a destination, or picks up another member of the family. Today, with “family plans” being offered by most mobile carriers, it’s more than possible that everyone in your family is carrying his or her own smartphone. As Johnson puts it: “The technology is there, so why not use it?”

How You Can Leverage AirCover Family Locator

If you’re part of a mobile-friendly family, with kids mature enough to have their own smartphones, the AirCover Family Locator app may be for you. It provides a level of comfort and security by keeping track of where your family members are at all times.

Johnson says that “social family apps” is an emerging market, and that there are many apps attempting to fill a variety of needs in this space. “We’re looking at integrating our app with things like cloud services, and calendaring apps to provide even more layers of data that families can leverage in their everyday lives,” says Johnson. “We can also envision our app being used in other fields, like health services, or patient care, for example,” says Johnson. “We foresee partnership potential between AirCover and a number of other verticals,” he adds.

To try out the app for yourself, download it on iTunes or Google Play. If you’d like to discuss potential partnership opportunities with AirCover, reach out through its website, or through its Twitter account.

Know of any other startups that would make a good feature on Spotlight on Startups? Contact us, or let us know in the comments below.