All you need to know about tracking devices
In the age of technology, how confident are you regarding the protection of your privacy? Due to the evergreen advent of technology, it is truly difficult these days to not find something you have lost. Do you know why? Because of the miracle called the tracking device! Now, using a tracking device would usually have you imagine yourself as a spy in some espionage mission. However, in our daily lives the usage of tracking devices is much more diverse and helps make our lives way easier.
A tracking device is a unit that runs on the principle of Global Positioning Software system. It is a small and compatible device that is usually carried in a moving vehicle such as cars, buses, trains, ships and planes or a person. It is used to track and trace the exact global position of the entity or the object with which it is associated. The data is recorded and can be stored, saved or sent depending upon the objective of fitting the tracking device. The data is then transmitted to a centralized location database where using the satellite and internet is used to determine the exact location. It has vast used in various fields of research, criminal tracking, commutation, transport etc.
We are here to guide you through the process and things to look into while investing in a tracking device. After analyzing this article you will be able to know and understand the importance of a tracking device, the points to look out for while buying one, the uses and the different types of tracking devices available. This article will help you understand the role of tracking devices, how they work, the pros and cons and the types of tracking devices you will use. Furthermore, you will also gain the knowledge of some tips and tricks for a savvier life. Read more to find out.
The Importance of Tracking Devices:
The role of a tracking device is quite vast and diverse. However, like any modern invention, it has two sides to it. The pros and the cons. The pros are as follows:
- It is a great help when you need to know the exact location of someone. Be it a car, person or a valuable accessory that you wouldn’t want to lose. It gives you the exact location of its whereabouts.
- Some tracking devices are made with some modifications that could benefit you health wise. Tracking devices can be installed in a patient’s body and be used to record and analyze the symptoms that otherwise could not be detected. It can give information related to heart rates and vital signs that are quite beneficial in diagnosing.
- The tracking device is a great way to ensure animal conservation and study wildlife a small microchip is usually attached to an animal. Then the animal is set free. Using a monitor and the signals received, one can easily get to the core areas of the forest. This will enable you to know precisely about the animals in the study or for research purposes.
- One of the most common and important uses of a tracking device is to determine directions when traveling. Using a smart phone or any such interface one can easily find out the ways to get to their preferred destination.
The cons of tracking devices are as follows:
- One of the main drawbacks of tracking devices is the fact that it could use for the process of tracing or tracking someone illegally. It can be used to stalk an individual or a party. This can lead to a breach of the privacy issues.
- The technology of tracking devices is still new. That leads to research still being conducted on it. Previously we have been relying on satellites to attain a precise location. However, satellites cost a lot. This has led to tracking be an expensive industry.
How Tracking Devices Work?
Tracking devices are employed extensively in businesses of all kinds. Apart from personal usage such as in vehicles, for kids or your cell phones, you will find business companies making use of the location- tracking technologies through tracking devices in order to have an upgraded method of supply management and inventories. This therefore, helps save money as well as control the supply chain of the assets. Even though the application areas range in an array, the understanding of how tracking devices work is crucial to gaining a deeper insight into the importance of tracking devices.
Before we start understanding how the tracking devices work, that is the global positioning systems (GPS) let us clear some misconceptions. Like you may encounter in the movies, there are actually yet to be GPS devices that are as small as a pill or can be implanted under your skin. However, the key reasons to why it is not possible yet is not because of the size or the nature of the GPS device but the power source. Every GPS has a receiver and the battery of the GPS helps to act as a power source. Therefore, while GPS device receivers can be as tiny as a pill, it is the battery which is yet to be.
The main function of the GPS tracking system is to provide accurate information on the exact location and it is accomplished through the use of the GNSS or as otherwise known, the Global Navigation Satellite System network. Through the use of this network, a total of 24 satellites are incorporated to provide the microwave signals which are transmitted through the GPS device to provide the information in real- time.
How is the microwave signal transmitted you ask? The receiver of the GPS is for that purpose. The GPS receivers help to track the exact location as well as compute the velocity and the time with which the process was achieved. But how is the entire operation attained by human beings? It is through the simple mathematical operation called the trilateration principle where, the GPS receiver is designed to gain the knowledge of the location of the place so that at least three satellites can trace its location and second, the distance between its current position and the satellites. Within cellphones, the locationalization is transpired through the use of multi alteration of the radio signals between the cell towers of the phone and the network or via the service of the global positioning system that is GPS.
Things you need to consider while choosing a tracking device:
While choosing to invest in a tracking device there are some things you should know. These include the purpose of investing in a tracking device, the outcome of it etc. We bring to you the things you must consider while choosing a tracking device for your car, kids, and keys.
For Cars– For the purpose of choosing a tracking device for your car here the things you should consider:
- Real time vs. passive time: In passive time the information is stored in the tracking software using the internet for a period of sixty days or variable. This feeds the software beforehand. However, for instance, there is a change in the route in between that time. It will not be reflected in the software. In real time your software gets feed every moment, alerting you to every minute change or details that might affect you.
- Cost: The cost also varies in accordance with the devices being real time or passive time. There are myths related to passive time software being cheaper and real time is expensive. However, this is not true and is quite the opposite. Hence, a proper knowledge is needed to assess what you really require and choose accordingly.
For Kids– Things to consider when choosing a tracking device for kids are:
- Age: There are different types of tracking devices available according to the age of the child. For instance, when you choose a tracking device for a toddler a simple tracking bracelet is an ideal choice. For school children, a GPS watch is a preferred choice. And for children over the age of 12 can go for a small portable tracking device.
- Battery life: Here the main priority should be given to battery life and not other factors such as cost. This is in accordance with the fact that you would want to know where your kids are all the time. For that, you have to invest in a tracking device that lasts longer and has an extended battery life.
For Keys– Things to consider while choosing a tracking device for your keys are:
- The radio frequency finders are more of a click n dig item. The one that is mostly associated with car keys and such. It comes with one finger fob and four tags. You have to attach the tag to the keys by adhesive agents. The tags are differently colored which corresponds to the different colored button on the finder. You just have to press the button and it will produce a sound of 90-100 dB. It is enough for you to know where the sound came from and locate accordingly.
- The Bluetooth finder is a bit different and more efficient. It works on the principle of the Bluetooth functioning of your phone. All you have to do is associate the device with the key and set it up using Bluetooth. After setting up, once you are in the vicinity of 100-200 feet of the key, you will hear an audible sound from the source. All you have to do is follow the source to get to the lost items.
What are the different types of tracking devices available?
Technology helps provide a number of tracking methods and devices for tracking. With the advancement of the communication technology, a number of diverse tracking methodologies are applied as per the nature of the work and the requirements. Even though there remains different tracking devices, each working through their own algorithm and communication systems, the purpose of each tracking device is one. And the purpose is the broadcasting of the location through response to a particular signal or a set of intervals, wherein the user can help to monitor products, help rescue friends, family and others in cases of emergency or locate animals if needed.
There are four basic kinds of tracking devices available and each are listed below:
- The Radio frequency Identification or RFID: RFID technology is often observed in grocery stores, in shopping outlets and other places, where through the use of a small tag containing a microchip, the information can be encoded while the antenna helps receive and send signals. As the tag detects the signal of the right frequency the encoded information is displayed. Hence, the scanner identifies accordingly.
- Radio Tracking: The radio tracking method is achieved through the up-gradation of the RFID tracker, where a power source is added additionally increasing the range of the signal. Therefore, the trackers act as active participants and can respond to wide- band scanning purposes and for long term tracking requirements. This is implemented when a rough location of the device will suffice and the data need not be as accurate.
- Cellphone Triangulation: Even though smartphones nowadays come within built GPS systems, in case when the GPS is not there in your cell phone or is not enabled, in order to track the location of your device a simple method can be used called the cell- phone triangulation. This can be done through a quick dialing of 911, where the location will be pinpointed through the estimation of an approximate location through identification of cell towers.
- GPS and Satellite tracking: As GPS and satellite tracking has been mentioned before, it can be understood how due to its accuracy and quickness, satellite based tracking methods are expensive. In case of vehicle tracking devices, GPS is the most common tracking methodology used. Other vehicle tracking options which you may encounter include the passive tracking system and cellular tracking methods.
Wide Area Tracking, Local- Area and Indoor tracking Methods:
The wide area tracking system is required in case of large companies when their vehicles require large scale tracking across the country or the world. In such a case, this is achieved through the fastest and most economic tracking system which is the GPS. GPS however, provides limitation in case of smaller areas such as indoors, where tracking services such as RFID or a wireless LAN is required.
After reading the article you should have an idea of the importance of tracking devices, the types and things to consider while choosing one etc. Tracking devices are units that you can take much advantage of if used in the right context. Also, your tracking device is good as long as the company manufacturing it. So do not go for just about any brand selling tracking devices but rather try and invest in good brands and companies that have a reputation for providing good products. This article, therefore helped elaborate on what tracking devices are, how they work, the types of tracking devices available and how you should go about buying them. Last of all, before buying check for reviews and do your homework rather than buying it without a moment’s thought. Enjoy!