GPS locator has bird's eye view on valuables

While it is impractical for mobile asset owners to keep constant vigilance on their valuables, many have discovered a new GPS Tracking service that is keeping an attentive eye on their behalf.

Named Mr Hawk, it is a Web-based service from Sydney-based ASP SignalGuard Australia that utilises the Trimble TrimTrac 1.5 GPS locator manufactured by US firm Trimble.

The TrimTrac, which sells from $600, is a small, lightweight self-contained unit utilising both GPS and GSM technologies. It also has a number of features including a mercury sensor for motion detection and an AA battery pack making the device, which weighs 100g sans batteries, totally portable.

The TrimTrac also has firmware in it that can be programmed and made to behave in different ways and offer different features, said Dave Montgomery, a director at GeoSystems, the Australian distributor of TrimTrac.

"The ASPs each have their Web-based software applications to which they can add features to suit particular markets. The only limitation is that the features their Web site offers has to be based on the TrimTracs ability to do what they need it to do."

Paul Truscott, product manager at SignalGuard, said initial interest for its Mr Hawk service has been from a mixed bag of users. These include freight companies wishing to monitor staff, equipment hire firms, through to private vehicles owners concerned about both car and family security.

The affordability of this service has made this technology available to anybody with an asset they wish to protect, he said.

"It opens up to a consumer market that wasn't there before."

The device allows motorists to connect a vehicle alarm to the locator which will then provide an added security solution that will alert the owner by SMS if their alarm has been activated and will begin tracking immediately.

Additionally, through what is known as geofencing, owners can set geographical parameters for their assets to be kept within. This is especially useful in applications like boats that are in a marina or plant and machinery on site.

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Howard Dahdah

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