(Meredith) – It can be frustrating to send a text message and not get a reply, especially for parents trying to reach their kids.
Nick Herbert, a dad in the United Kingdom, hopes to eliminate that problem with ReplyASAP -- a new mobile app that essentially freezes a child's phone until they respond to a text.
So, how does it work? The app takes over the screen and triggers an alarm that sounds off until the message is read, forcing the recipient to reply to regain control over their device.
The app even works while the phone is on silent. If it's turned off, the alert will arrive as soon as the phone is switched on, according to the ReplyASAP website.
The child can delete the app altogether, but their parents will be notified immediately.
Herbert said during the development process he showed his son, Ben, the designs and thinking behind the app.
"He likes the idea because he will know that if he gets one of these messages, he will always hear it and will know it's important," Herbert wrote on the ReplyASAP website.
While the app can be a useful tool for parents, Herbert said it can be used for sending important messages to friends or colleagues, as well.
ReplyASAP is currently available for Android, but there is no iOS version for Apple devices.
Other apps also allow parents to track and lock their child's phone. In 2014, a Texas mom created IgnoreNoMore, an app that forces kids to return their parent's phone calls.