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Use GPS Devices For Pets to Track Your Lost Animals

27 Feb

There is no worse feeling for an animal lover than looking around your home and suddenly realizing that your furry little friend is nowhere to be found. Cats, in particular, tend to wander, and even though they likely just want to get outside and experience the best that Mother Nature has to offer, it’s still a harrowing experience for their owners.

Dog Tracking

Instead of worrying yourself sick, printing up “missing” posters, and offering a reward to a potential good Samaritan, you can go a long way towards making sure that you don’t find yourself in this situation ever again by using GPS devices to track your lost animals. There are a few key devices that are built with pets in mind that you’re absolutely going to want to know about.

PetTronix RoamEO

The PetTronix RoamEO features a rubber collar with a built-in GPS unit and battery compartment. You attach it to your pet the same way you would any other collar, only this one is constantly communicating your pet’s location to an associated handset at all times. It doesn’t require cell phone service or any other type of subscription. If you’re curious about where your pet is, all you have to do is turn on the handset and the RoamEO will take care of the rest.

The range on the RoamEO is roughly half a mile and it features a 24-hour battery life.


Tagg Pet Tracker

Unlike the RoamEO, the Tagg Pet Tracker is a separate device that actually clips to your dog or cat’s existing collar. Once activated, it connects to a cellular network and allows you to instantly track your pet’s location from either a smartphone app or from any Web browser.

Thanks to the fact that it uses cellular service for GPS, the range is unlimited – your pet could somehow wander halfway across the country, and you would still be able to track their every move down to a range of just a few feet. The only potential downside is that the device’s “minimum zone” is roughly four acres in size, so it isn’t necessarily the best option if you’re just trying to keep an eye on your pet around the house.


The Gibi Pet Locator

Another worthy addition to the list is the Gibi Pet Locator, a highly durable and waterproof device with a number of sophisticated features. It’s another GPS tracker that uses a cellular data network, allowing you to track your pet using a smartphone app, your Web browser, your mobile device and more. One of the more valuable features that the Gibi Pet Locator brings to the table involves letting you create pre-determined “safe zones” for your pet.

Based on your preferences and your pet’s habits, you can specify where your animal usually plays. If they ever wander outside of the boundaries of those safe zones, you can be instantly alerted – making sure that precious time is always on your side when it comes to locating a missing animal. The Gibi Pet Locator is also natively compatible with Google Maps and can be attached to any existing collar that you have.


Tractive GPS Tracker

Finally, we have the Tractive GPS Tracker, a real-time GPS tracker designed for animals that weigh 10 pounds or more. It comes with a battery life of between two and four days, making it perfect for long-term use. You can use the device to instantly get accurate GPS coordinates for your pet from the associated Android or iOS apps or right from your Web browser.

The only potential downside is that the Tractive GPS Tracker currently requires a $9.95 monthly subscription outside of the original purchase price. As it does allow you to instantly find the current location of your pet at any time of day or night, that investment may be more than worth it depending on your preferences.


Scotland Is Using GPS Tracking and Other Technology to Fight Repeat Offenders

23 Jan

For years, people have been using GPS tracking for a lot more than just receiving turn-by-turn directions. Are you curious about what your cat is up to at night while you’re fast asleep? Just put a GPS tracker on its collar and let technology take care of the rest. Are you sick and tired of losing your keys all the time and finally want to do something about it? Put a GPS tracker on your key ring and, with the right app by your side, you’ll never lose track of them again.

scotland police

Law enforcement agencies around the world have also been using GPS technology to combat a wide range of issues in our society. Case in point: Officials in Scotland are using GPS tracking in association with alcohol testing to help keep an eye on offenders in the area. Their efforts, which are already a tremendous success, are directly responsible for bringing conviction rates for repeat offenders to a 17-year low.

GPS Tracking and Scotland: Fighting a Problem

The use of GPS technology is just one small but essential part of a much larger whole. People who have been convicted of alcohol-related offenses, particularly driving offenses, can be ordered to have their sweat tested for alcohol limits by the Scottish government as a part of their rehabilitation program. This, coupled with the GPS-tagging technology, helps keep an eye on their whereabouts. This is being done in an effort to avoid rushing repeat offenders to jail as the only option. Given the major declines across the board and the positive results with young people in particular, the program already seems to be working.

A representative from the Scottish government, Michael Matheson, said that there are always going to be crimes in which jailing someone is the most logical course of action to take. However, so many offenses — particularly those involving drugs or alcohol — need to embrace a much more reasonable response for long-term success. International research has long suggested that merely jailing someone is NOT the best way to prevent the person from offending again in the future.

In these cases, GPS tracking is less about being able to prove whether someone did or did not go to a bar but more about opening up new opportunities to help address the root cause of the issue at hand. A criminologist from Stirling University, Hannah Graham, said that GPS tracking helps to closely monitor someone and offer targeted support in the days or weeks leading up to their trial, all while continuing to guarantee public safety as a result. It isn’t about creating a situation in which committing a crime is impossible — this is woefully short-sighted on the best of days. Instead, it’s about offering the necessary rehabilitation to foster an environment in which an offender must leave crime behind.

It’s important to note that the alcohol problem in Scotland is a serious one. According to a group called Alcohol Focus Scotland, alcohol is a major contributing factor in more than half of the violent crimes across the country. The use of GPS tracking is not concerned about jailing someone until they no longer have a drinking problem; instead, it offers the offender the support they need to address those problems head on.

This is also not the first time that GPS tracking technology has been used in law enforcement in Scotland. A pilot program was instituted in recent years focused on both child sex offenders and in specific immigration cases. Similar programs are being carried out across the United Kingdom as well. The Scottish government indicated that they were so pleased with the results thus far that they have already begun to study how to roll out GPS tagging to a much wider audience. They indicated that they would like to get to a point that it is used in more than just cases involving specific offenses, such as drug and DUI convictions.


How GPS Tracking Technology Exposed a Major E-Waste Problem

2 Jan

As technology has become a more and more essential part of our daily lives over the last few years, it has actually given rise to a fairly significant problem that must be solved sooner rather than later: e-waste. According to the experts at, e-waste is an issue that is only going to get worse before it gets better. The United States alone discards about 9.4 million tons of electronic waste every year. Only about 12.5% of that total is ever recycled. According to the EPA, there are 35,000 pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver and an incredible 75 pounds of gold that can be recovered from every one million cell phones – provided that they’re properly disposed of, that is.

One nonprofit organization based out of Seattle is turning toward technology itself in an attempt to combat this issue head-on. A two-year investigation into electronics recycling was recently conducted using GPS tracking and similar devices to try to uncover the extent of the problem we now face as a society. The results were, in a word, startling.

The Basel Action Network (BAN)

The Basel Action Network used GPS tracking devices for two full years in an attempt to find out not only how much e-waste is being created on a regular basis, but where these items are actually ending up if they’re NOT headed for a recycling center. What they revealed was more than alarming – nearly 33% of all devices that are supposed to be recycled are often exported to developing countries around the world. Much of that equipment is then dismantled –  often by child labor – in an effort to acquire the valuable gold and other materials inside.

The major issue that this poses is one of health concerns. Not only does this type of work endanger the workers themselves, but it can also be a threat to their families and can even contaminate the areas surrounding the shops and the local environment.

The two-year investigation began after representatives from BAN noticed that, despite the fact that statistics associated with e-waste exports were dropping, the actual problem itself didn’t seem to be getting any better. After a careful analysis of the situation, they recommended to the federal government that GPS tracking devices be used to monitor e-waste as it moves from its origin to its destination – a recommendation that was largely ignored at the time. At that point, BAN decided that the best course of action to take would be to just do it themselves.

The Power of GPS

BAN representatives installed 200 GPS trackers into equipment that was delivered to e-waste recycling stations across the United States. What they found was that a huge volume of devices was being exported out of the United States almost immediately – roughly 65 of the 200 devices made their way out of the country. Of those, BAN estimated that 62 of them were shipped illegally. Most interestingly, it was revealed that e-waste recycling drop-off points were NOT the only source of this problem. Some of the tracked devices originated from Goodwill or other second-hand stores, while a few started their journey at major US retailers. The problem existed across ALL categories.

BAN revealed that Hong Kong has long been one of the major access points for e-waste into the rest of the world and “e-waste facilities” are now cropping up there in greater numbers all the time. Though BAN’s investigation does not solve the problem, it’s unique use of GPS technology sheds valuable light on an issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Not only can it help curb child labor issues around the world, but it can also help make sure that these devices are disposed of properly before they have a chance to cause potentially irreparable damage to the environment at large.


Want to Know What Your Cat is Up to at Night? Let a GPS Tracker Tell the Tale

12 Dec

If you made a list of all the qualities that people love about cats, their fierce independence would undoubtedly be right at the top. Dogs are inherently lovable, but seem to want constant attention during every waking hour. Cats love attention, too – but decidedly on their own terms. When a cat is done with you, it’s well and truly done – and it will go off to do… whatever it is that cats do… until the time comes when it remembers it loves you once again.

Because of this, cats tend to wander. When you realize that there are between six and eight hours each night where you’re completely asleep when your cat could be getting into who-knows-what kind of trouble, it might be cause for alarm. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be any longer, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. If you really want to know what your cat is getting up to at night, you can let GPS trackers tell the tail (pun very much intended).

The iTrail GPS Logger

If your cat is the type that likes to wander outdoors at night, always to return in the morning, the iTrail GPS Logger is the perfect tool for you. Thanks to its compact design, it can go anywhere – even comfortably inside your cat’s collar. With 40 hour battery life, this beautiful little GPS logger can keep track of your cat’s activities all night long. It’s even water resistant, allowing it to operate perfectly in just about all weather conditions. You can retrieve the GPS logger in the morning, plug it into your computer and find out exactly where your cat went while you were unaware.

STI-GL-300WT Wearable GPS Tracker System

For those looking for a solution a bit more advanced, the STI-GL-300WT will be right up your alley. This is also a wearable GPS tracker system, making it perfect for comfortably attaching to your cat before their night of adventure begins. With a two week battery life, you don’t have to worry about charging it. The key feature that cat lovers will enjoy is the fact that it allows for real-time tracking over an Internet connection. If you suddenly realize that you can’t find your cat, you’re never more than just a few quick mouse clicks away seeing their current location. You can even get phone and email alerts automatically sent to you so that you don’t have to worry about missing a thing.

The STI_GL300 Real-Time GPS Tracker

Finally, we have the STI-GL300 Real-Time GPS Tracker, another wearable device perfect for keeping a (virtual) eye on your cat all throughout the night. This unit also has a two week battery life and offers real-time tracking functionality over the Internet. At any given moment you can pull up the app on your smartphone or tablet and see exactly where your cat is and what they’re getting up to.

The thing that all of these devices share is their compact nature. They’re powerful devices, yet small enough to avoid hurting the cat or otherwise stopping it from doing whatever it wants to. Not that there is really any way to stop a cat from doing whatever it wants at all times, it would seem.

These are just a few of the key GPS trackers that you can use to get to the bottom of just what it is that cats do at night. Keep in mind, however, that cats are fiercely protective of their own privacy. It’s the cost of owning such an independent animal, so if you’re worried about accidentally creating trust issues between you and your furry little friend we may suggest some more covert surveillance options instead. Cats are also incredibly smart, so be sure you make the right choice as you don’t want to be discovered.


GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure, as per the Supreme Court

5 Dec

GPS tracking has become so advanced and so affordable that just about anyone with a few hundred dollars can keep a watchful eye on someone if they want to badly enough. Even local and federal law enforcement agencies are getting in on the action, regularly using sophisticated GPS trackers to monitor unsuspecting targets as they go about their days. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, this may be a “bridge too far,” so to speak — a recent ruling indicated that GPS trackers are a form of search and seizure, and using one without following the proper procedures could be a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court

In the case of Torrey Dale Grady v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court essentially took a bold step toward updating the Fourth Amendment to take into consideration the advanced technology now on display in government agencies around the country. Though the case itself was returned to the North Carolina high court, the Supreme Court did take the opportunity to unanimously rule on the GPS tracking technology itself. Simply put, they indicated that if a law enforcement or other government official places a GPS tracker on someone’s person, in their car or on any other personal item they have, it counts as a search — end of story.

A senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group keeping a watchful eye on the technology that watches citizens each day, was very pleased with the decision. Asked about the case, Jennifer Lynch said, “It doesn’t matter what the context is, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a car or a person. Putting that tracking device on a car or a person is a search.”

The case itself is actually extremely interesting because GPS tracking was not done without Torrey Dale Grady’s knowledge. In 2013, Grady was ordered by a judge in North Carolina to wear a GPS monitor at all times so that authorities could keep a watchful eye on him. He challenged this decision, taking his situation all the way to the Supreme Court, under the basis that the tracking device absolutely qualified as an unreasonable search.

GPS Tracking in Action

Despite this ruling, GPS tracking as a concept isn’t going anywhere. Many sophisticated devices offer real-time tracking over the internet for $120 or less, making them perfect for both law enforcement professionals and concerned private citizens. The STI_GL300 Real-Time GPS tracker, for example, is billed as a perfect solution for tracking everything from people to vehicles to equipment and more. It allows the person doing the tracking to not only access the GPS information from anywhere using a tablet or phone, but it also supports automated phone and email alerts so no movement is missed.

The XT-2000 OBD Real-Time GPS Vehicle Tracker is another example, which is designed to plug effortlessly into nearly any modern car. It also allows for real-time tracking over an internet connection and supports automatic alerts and more.

It’s important to note that the Supreme Court ruling does NOT mean that GPS tracking is somehow bad or that it doesn’t bring with it a wide range of different benefits that can’t be ignored. Businesses who are concerned with things like employee theft or even operational inefficiencies regularly use GPS tracking as a form of asset management, for example. There is also a wide range of different (totally legitimate) reasons why home users would need this technology.

All the Supreme Court has done is taking a small but significant step toward protecting the Fourth Amendment rights of an entire generation who will grow up surrounded by this type of technology on a daily basis. As the Constitution is a document that was always meant to be updated as time goes on and as contexts change, this is very much a good thing and should be celebrated.


How Do Jewelry Companies Transport Their Jewels?

28 Nov

Many people don’t realize that when it comes to jewelry companies, one of the biggest costs that businesses face have nothing to do with producing the items themselves – instead, it’s the massive cost associated with safely and securely getting them into the hands of customers all over the world. Transportation costs are massive, particularly when you consider the value of the items being transported. To this end, jewelry companies have successfully leveraged modern technology in a variety of ways to help make sure not only that everything goes smoothly, but to also make sure that the cost of their goods versus the cost to transport still allows them to remain competitive.

Transporting Jewels: A Logistical Enterprise

There is an entire industry devoted to helping jewelry companies transport their jewels as safely, as securely and as cost-effectively as possible. Point2Point Global Security Inc., for example, offers a wide range of different services including:


  • Off-duty police officers to watch shipments wherever they go.
  • Secured transport, both on the ground and in the air, to make sure that no items are tampered with or stolen in transit.
  • Armed delivery of products to private residences, as well as armed escort for sales people who may be traveling with expensive merchandise.

Transporting jewels is quite different from a normal retail shipment process. Things go a great deal deeper than just moving merchandise from a factory to a retail environment and into the hands of customers. An almost unprecedented level of visibility is necessary at every step of the way. Nearly every jewelry item passes through an incredible number of hands before it arrives in a store – from dealers to grading institutes to wholesalers and polishers and beyond. Losing track of something at any one of those points could create a nightmare of liability for everyone before and after.

Think about the last time you went to a jewelry showcase at something like a hotel or other public event – there are systems in place that are constantly informing businesses where those items are, how they got there, how long they’ve stayed and so much more.

The Power of Modern Technology

To that end, jewelry companies use a wide range of state-of-the-art tools to help keep a watchful eye over their products, especially in transit. GPS-equipped security vehicles are constantly visible via an Internet connection. But this involves a lot more than just being able to log into a website and see exactly where a truck is, although that itself is very important.

The log of data that GPS and other asset protection devices create also helps keep transportation as secure as possible. If an item goes missing, business representatives can see its entire history up to that point. If a truck stopped when it wasn’t supposed to, they can see exactly where that happened. They can see exactly how long the truck was “off route.” They can see precisely who was driving that truck, who they were interacting with and more.

The biggest benefit is that by investing in the security of their jewels, they’re able to make sure items get where they’re supposed to as inexpensively as possible. However, taking complete control over the supply chain also brings with it the equally important benefit of a stronger reputation. Every company responsible for a piece of jewelry at some point during its lifecycle should absolutely embrace these types of tracking methods, as if a problem DOES occur they have concrete, actionable and analytical proof that they weren’t responsible. This only strengthens their reputation in an industry where this is maybe the most important quality of a business moving forward.


Ways Companies Use Asset Tracking to Monitor Their Shipments

14 Nov

One of the many ways that technology has made the lives of business owners easier has to do with asset tracking and the monitoring of shipments. The process of preparing and shipping an item to a customer isn’t necessarily a difficult one, but it is one that involves a lot of steps. Every one of these steps represents a potential hazard or delay that could cause an organization’s investment to drop considerably.

Being able to access real-time, accurate GPS information about where a shipment is at any particular moment, however, goes a long way toward relieving these issues as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.

Asset Tracking Helps to Eliminate Gaps in Documentation

One of the many ways that companies use asset tracking to monitor their shipments has less to do with where the shipment eventually ends up and more to do with how it is prepared in the first place. Many businesses document every step of a shipment’s lifecycle – from the various stages of preparation to who is doing the preparation in the first place and more. The problem is that sometimes this documentation comes up short, leading to waste and costly delays in the process.

If you THINK that you don’t know where a particular item is because documentation is lacking, you might think that the problem is that the item in question is lost or stolen. This could wind up costing you time that you don’t have only to determine that everything was proceeding as it should – it was the documentation itself that was lacking.

If you had the ability to log into an interface on a smartphone or tablet and get a real-time update on that item’s location from anywhere, however, you’d be able to see the cause of the problem in seconds and could avoid those delays altogether. This would also uncover the fact that your organization had a documentation problem, something you could take steps to further correct by way of continuing education.

Accurate, Actionable Information

One of the biggest benefits of using asset tracking to monitor shipments, however, comes by way of the reams of analytical information that it can provide. Asset tracking gives businesses an almost unprecedented level of visibility into not only where their assets are going, but HOW they’re being utilized. This can be a great way to better monitor the actual needs of an organization, making certain adjustments to increase productivity and streamline efficiency along the way.

Even if you’re only talking about asset tracking in terms of physical location information, the data you’re given can still help uncover patterns that can shed insight on how to make your operation stronger. If you know where your shipments are at any given moment, you actually know a great deal more than that. You know how long they take to prepare. How long they take to get from “Point A” to “Point B” to “Point C” and beyond. You can see what might be causing unnecessary delays and, more importantly, what you need to do to cut down the amount of time required for this process as much as you can.

Improving Customer Service

Finally, many companies use asset tracking to monitor their shipments to unlock the most important benefit of all: the ability to provide a better service to their customers. If you have complete visibility over your shipments, including how long it took to get them to where they are and how long it will continue to take to get them where they’re going, you have the data you need to improve the way your information performs.

You know which resources you need to use to allocate for improved efficiency. You’re able to reduce unnecessary spending by eliminating superfluous steps in the process. You have better control over your shipments and related assets than ever before, allowing you to provide superior customer service AND increase your revenue at the same time.