Friday, January 27, 2006

Tracking Dept. News

School buses in Palm Beach, FL will be equipped with GPS so parents can relax and not worry about their kids being abducted.

A smarter use of of GPS was made to track ransom money of a kidnapping. I bet the waves of kidnappings in South America and other countries would take a nice toll if this tactic were put in place.

Orange, a French-based company, will distribute Columba, a "phone-bracelete" that uses Assisted-GPS in GSM/GPRS phones to help track Alzheimer's patients.

GPS is being used at Yellowstone to help scientists track its volcanic activity.

Fisherman in India now can be saved from being caught in Pakistani waters with the help of GPS receivers subsidised by the Government.

Telespial released TrackStick, pretty much the smallest self-contained GPS receiver around. The device logs its location, timestamp, heading and altitude at regular intervals and store it to 1Mb of Flash RAM. You can output its data in .rtf, xls, html and as described by OgleEarth, GoogleEarth .kml files. You can also link to MapQuest and Virtual Earth from its companion software app.

I love this part from the description in its website: "The Track Stick's micro computer contains special mathematical algorithms, that can calculate how long you have been indoors. While visiting family, friends or even shopping, the Track Stick can accurately time and map each and every place you have been."

Its companion product, Track Stick Manager can be used then to upload its data through an USB connection. It makes use of D2XX, a driver by Future Technologies that allows reading data from USB with help from a single .DLL (check under the drivers directory, you will need to install it too).

Finally Secom, the same company that equipped backpacks with RFID for school kids, is providing (most probably Assisted) GPS devices for elders in Japan that can't find their way back home.

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