VELO World's Smallest GPS Tracker
Friday, June 20, 2008 - Ehud Rattner
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VELO is a small, GPS based device that uses a cellular SIM card (and GSM technology) for global location and positioning services. The new device offered is being marketed as the smallest GPS tracker on the market, specifically made for tracking motorbikes and other power sports vehicles.
Besides locating the user’s position, VELO has an integral movement sensor which can alert the owner if it is moved without authorization. Upon alert, the device will call its owner to inform the incident. The user can then dial to the GPS and listen to the device's surroundings, or simply start tracking it. To ensure that there are no false alarms, a 'grace period' has been implemented in the system: if no movement occurs in five minutes it will go back to alert mode.
VELO can be armed and disarmed by way of a key-fob, making it suitable for tracking motorbikes, quad-bikes, and jet-skis. Of course the more traditional vehicles can also benefit from such a gadget. A speed alert service is offered for all vehicles. In order to operate the tracker the user just sets the request in the panel. For emergency cases, an SOS button was installed.
The battery life is 4 to 5 days under optimum conditions, and the device can be charged either via an external power source (AC or a 12v-24v car socket) or using its own battery. In order to maintain VELO's accuracy, an automatic IC reset will be performed every 24 hours. During the reset, the battery voltage will be measured and the user will be informed of the result. Even if the battery is below 3.5V the device will inform the user via GPRS or SMS and will only shut down after reporting to the owner.
It is a known fact the GPRS and GSM networks can be imperfect; TariffMan has tackled this issue, using a highly-sophisticated microprocessor with an extended memory; therefore, if either GPRS or GSM networks are unavailable, the positions are stored and sent later. Moreover, the memory can be used for manual storage of locations and routes.
TFOT has reported on the new generation of GPS receivers, produced by the California based company SiRF and the Swiss company U-Blox, and on the Xplorer GPS Smart Shoe, which tracks the wearer's location. TFOT has also covered the RoamEO, a small GPS based location system for pets, and the GPS Photo Finder, which allows users to find the location in which a picture was taken.
Prices for VELO are set at 199.00 (under $400) with no monthly rental charge. This price includes up to 2,000 positions each month for the first 12 months. After that, an annual payment of 20.00 is required for continued tracking.
More information about the device and other fees can be found on TariffMan's website.