Boosting NorthStar.ws – A Tool That Helps Traveling Safe for School Children

I was recently contacted by Kunal Ashar, the founder of NorthStar School Bus Tracking System. Mr. Ashar seems to have extensive experience within the technology and GPS systems. In 2010 he launched an online tool, India’s first, that monitors and tracks the location, safety, security and activity of school children and school buses in real time.

This is not just another website startup, this online tool is supported by a state of the art backend system that process and tracks every school children, buses and their geographic location and reports it to the parents, etc.

Below is what Mr. Ashar has to say about his technology and the website startup.

What is the URL of Your Website?

http://northstar.ws

What is Your Vision for this Business?

NorthStar is one of India’s first and leading cloud-based products that monitors and track the location, safety, security and activity of school children and school buses in real time.

It’s not just another GPS product – instead, it’s focused on ensuring that few or no school children are injured or die in school bus accidents. Or, in cases of accidents, the parents, authorities, community, officials and hospitals are notified instantly and automatically.

It takes a unique approach to child safety, by *helping* school bus drivers and transporters become better and more caring drivers. It combines the power of GPS, GSM, GPRS, GIS, RFID, webcam and many more sensors in a “black box” that transmits signals to NorthStar’s Amazon cloud-based server farm, that analyzes billions of bytes of data every few minutes, and intelligently (self-learning algorithm) detects problems, violations, rash driving, accidents, etc., and notifies the authorized people over SMS within 2-5 seconds of the incident.

It’s built on open source technologies including Apache Tomcat, Apache MQ, Java, JSF, Spring, Hibernate, EhCache and Jasper.

What is the Business Plan or model?

We charge end-users – parents – a minuscule monthly subscription fee – to monitor the safety of their children when they travel on school buses.

Why Did You Start this Website?

We (the founders) all have children who travel by school buses every day. We were concerned about their safety, and also had no visibility on what time the buses would reach our homes or reach the schools. We wanted to build a service and a product that could help parents like us, and schools like ours, ensure the safety of the children and prevent accidents.

How are You Planning to market it?

Online, social, direct marketing to schools, parents and bus fleet owners.

Who are the Founders of this Website?

Kunal Ashar

Where are You Located?

Bangalore, India

When Did you Start this Website?

June 2010

How are you Different from Your Competitors?

Others vendors are simply GPS or tracking providers. They have no focus on a specific problem, and their products and interfaces are too complex for parents, school principals and transporters. Instead, NorthStar focuses solely on schools, and makes the experience for them easy and simple.

Please visit NorthStar.ws to learn more about this. I could see this tool being used in other parts of the world to get school children home safely.

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