Here's a nightmare scenario: You're far from home, lost and driving through some mountain range on a snowy winter night when suddenly your car dies. Fortunately, you have your trusty cellular phone with you. But when you call 911 for help, you realize that you can't tell the dispatcher where you are -- and that it could take him anywhere from five minutes to five days to trace your cellular signal.
Too bad you don't have FoneFinder with you. Developed by patent attorney Bob Tendler, chairman of Tendler Cellular, in Boston (800-896-4440), the miniature system, which can be integrated into just about any cellular phone, combines global-positioning-system (GPS) tracking technology with a voice-synthesis chip. All a caller has to do is push a special panic button mounted on the cell phone. The device automatically dials the nearest 911 service, and the synthesized voice announces its exact location. If all goes smoothly, says Tendler, cell phone manufacturer Audiovox will have the system in its Model 405 come September.