With so much technology available, purchasing the right tracker can sometimes feel overwhelming. As locating and tracking devices have improved over the years, it’s important to understand how they work in order to make the best decision for you and your family. In 2017, the CDC released a study that showed families of children with autism who used a tracking device reported improvements in quality of life. With an ever increasing “on-the-go” world, everyone deserves that peace of mind. Currently, the two main types of trackers you will see are Bluetooth and GPS.
So, when it comes to your loved ones, how do you determine which solution best fits your needs?
Bluetooth technology is reliant on proximity. Bluetooth is a two-way communication between the device and your phone. This means, in order for you to see the device location, you have to be within 10 meters (33 feet) of the device.
This is ideal for locating nearby assets (keys, camera bag, laptop bag, etc.). If you misplace your keys, you can wander around your house, seeing it when you are within 10 meters and quickly grabbing what you need. If you are looking for your luggage at the airport, and can get close to your bag or have someone else with the shared app and Bluetooth on by your bag, this will allow you to easily track down that suitcase.
Because it is proximity based, this is not ideal for tracking a family member or pet. If they wander away, you have no way of seeing them unless you happen to go the same way they are and then get within 33 feet of them. If you live in a different city, state, etc. from them, you will not be able to track that loved one. This is why Bluetooth is best for short range tracking.
GPS technology does not rely on cell phones so it is not proximity based. A GPS tracker gains its location via multiple satellites orbiting the earth. After gaining location data, this is sent to the service providers servers via cellular service. Most GPS service providers have an online account and/ or app you can log into and see your device location data. GPS locates, when outdoors, are typically within 5-10 meters of where the device physically is.
This makes GPS tracking ideal for children, seniors, and pets. As the device moves around, it works on its own, getting accurate locate data and uploading it for you to see. You can be lounging on a beach halfway around the world and check in and see the latest locate data of your tracker back home.
This consistent and accurate locating allows for geo-fencing and alerts. This means you can be notified when the device enters or leaves a designated area and continue to track as it is not tied to any proximity.
GPS trackers are designed to work best when outdoors due to gaining locates from satellites orbiting earth. Satellite interference can cause location information to be unavailable or “drift”- a slight skewing of the location. Most GPS service providers filter out locates that are too inaccurate. Some GPS trackers, like the PocketFinder+, also utilize Wi-Fi Touch and Cellular ID. These use geo-tagged Wi-Fi signal sources and cellular towers to triangulate the location and aid in accurate indoor tracking when GPS signals have too much interference.
When it comes to tracking, the goal is peace of mind. Whether it’s keeping an eye on a loved one or even making sure you don’t lose your keys, the tracking technology is there for you to use. It’s just a matter of determining what is best for your needs. When it comes to your loved ones, GPS has shown to be most reliable tracking solution.