Friday, February 20, 2015

iTraq is a location tracker unbounded of bluetooth range

There's a growing number of location tags that promise to help us find lost items. Most of them use Bluetooth as a way to make the service cheaper, but that means you have little chance of finding your lost device if you stray away more than a dozen meters. Now, this new iTraq wants to breaks free of that limited range and let you know where your belongings may be, world wide.

The idea of having a small tag that can let you know where objects (or persons) may be is something that just a decade ago would seem possible only for super-spies. Now, there's no shortage of bluetooth location trackers at affordable prices. However, bluetooth has a limited range, and even with the creation of crowd-finding services (where users using the same kind of tracker can automatically report back the location of nearby lost trackers) it doesn't help you if there's no one around.

The iTraq prevents that by using a GSM connection to report back its location, just like a regular cell phone.

This isn't the first GSM location tracker - nor the cheapest,  you can find GPS/GSM locators for $18(!) - but it does save you from having to worry about getting an extra SIM card and suitable plan. All the communications are included in its $39/49 price. Do keep in mind that the location accuracy is based on the cell towers and not on a GPS signal, which means it can be as good as a few dozen meters... or kilometers, depending on the cell coverage.

The iTraq doesn't have a user replaceable or rechargeable battery, but they say it's good for 4 months (with hourly location reports) and up to 3 years (reporting the location once per day). You can also define areas, and receive instant alerts should the tracker step outside.

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