Crowd GPS Could be Beacon of the Future

Crowd GPS

New innovations in technology have created the ability to track items that individuals may have misplaced. From lost keys to vanishing remote controls, finding objects can sometimes prove difficult if one’s memory isn’t functioning at full capacity. When that happens, there are a variety of companies that have developed devices to track such missing items with a simple press of a button.

Manufacturers such as TrackR, Tile, and Bringrr offer a similar product – small, thin objects roughly the size of a quarter that can be attached to items an individual wants to track. The objects connect with a user’s phone via Bluetooth technology and a specialized application tracking software. If a person loses a set of key with a tracking object attached, the individual can locate the item through the application. These tracking objects have a limited range of about 100-150 feet though, so they have to use a crowd GPS feature to find items further out of reach.

Unlike GPS-enabled navigation devices, crowd GPS doesn’t use a satellite to locate objects. Instead, it relies on other phones using the same tracking software. These applications connect with sibling applications on other phones, establishing a global network to track missing items within range of a phone connected to the network. The information shared among other phones in the network is anonymous, and only an individual’s lost object location will appear on that person’s phone, if it’s detected.

There is a downside to crowd GPS. If someone loses an item outside the range of his or her phone, that person must rely on the presence of another phone running the same application to be in close proximity to the missing item. In densely populated cities, this might not be an issue. But for individuals living in smaller communities, it might be some time before another phone with the same application picks up the missing item.

The purchase of a tracking chip could very well be worth the expense for those keys, remotes and other objects that have a tendency to disappear from time to time. Then again, if one forgets both the location of the tracking chip and cell phone, the situation could prove problematic.

Do you think such tracking devices could be used to track packages as they make their way through a delivery network?


1 Comment

  1. grannybunny

     /  July 6, 2015

    Could such devices track packages? Yes. Should they? Seems like overkill to me, except for something so valuable it should probably be sent Registered Mail anyway.

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