CBS Local — Parents have a new tool to help them get through to their phone-addicted kids. A father in Britain has created an app that will send texts their children are not able to ignore until they read the message.

Nick Herbert was reportedly tired of his son, Ben, ignoring messages from home and wrote developed the app called ReplyASAP. ReplyASAP allows users to send a text message that triggers an alarm on the recipient’s phone even if their cell is on silent.

The message will block out anything else being done on the phone and the alarm won’t end until the message is read. “It will alleviate the stress when I can’t get hold of him as I will know that he has seen my message,” the app creator said.

“He is always playing games and has the phone on silent. It drives me crazy,” Herbert said. The father noted that he and Ben now have a mutual understanding that the app will be used, “only for important things and not because he needs new batteries for his xbox controller.”

The technology will not only give parents a direct line to hard-to-reach children in an emergency, but is likely to find many others uses for adults too. Herbert says ReplyASAP could help co-workers communicate in a crucial situation, help friends gather to search for something that’s been lost, or even change a drink order before someone gets to a crowded bar.

Currently the app is only available on Android, but will reportedly be available for iOS shortly.

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