Tracking Device Development
A US-based startup from Seattle, WA has launched iTraq, a device designed for tracking the location of objects or cargo.
The client contracted with First Line Software for the development of a prototype for an innovative geo-tracking device. After the prototype testing was completed, First Line built the final version of the product. What makes the iTraq device unique is its ability to operate while utilizing two location-tracking technologies simultaneously – GSM and GPS Modules.
The device uses GSM module in its customary mode, i.e. its location details are sent out by connecting to the nearest cell towers utilizing Cell-ID triangulation. One advantage of this technology is the efficient battery power consumption – one charge is sufficient for three years of continuous use. One disadvantage is the limited accuracy of the location – between 100 and 200 meters. In case of emergency and upon user request, it is possible to activate operation of the higher energy-consuming, but more precise GPS module. For example, if an object that is connected to an iTraq tracking device is stolen and its location can be accurately tracked within 1 meter.
The following is a list of the client’s requirements for this device:
- Device case must be small
- Power consumption should be minimal
- Standby mode should be the default and the device must be accessible for remote adjustment by means of a mobile application on the user’s smartphone
- GSM module should be able to scan all neighboring cell towers regardless of the cellular provider
- GPS module should be capable of being switched on by user request
- Device production should be cost-efficient.
First Line Software met all design requirements and completed the prototype development within six months. The device case was downsized to 21x12 square millimeters. The battery life is guaranteed to last from one to three years of continuous use and will power 1500 sessions. Both the GSM and GPS modules are embedded in the device case along with the battery.
A mobile application for iOS and Android was developed to control the device. The application can be customized to meet the user’s specific requirements and can be used to track the object’s movement on a map. A user can also adjust the frequency of how often the device will “inform” about its location (from one to 50 times per day) and choose either GPS or GSM module for device operation.
In the spring of 2015 iTraq set up a campaign on the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform. One of the objectives was to test the concept, device and technology with users. The client raised over USD 200,000 from the campaign and 5,000 devices were preordered. By the beginning of 2016 pilot testing of iTraq geo-trackers was conducted in 51 countries and mass production of the product was launched.
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