What are the different types of technologies that are available to track your valuable assets such as a Car, Boat or Tractor ?
This article will help you to understand the different types of Tracking technologies that are available to track assets and explain the difference between them.
A Tracker is a device that allows you to track something. The first technology that a Tracker can utilise is GPS signals from Satellites.
A GPS Tracker uses the Satellites as reference points to determine its co-ordinates on the Earth in terms of latitude, longitude, and altitude.
The GPS Tracker then positions itself using this information along with mapping technology to show you where your device is on a map. You can view the map through the internet or through your cell phone. You can track something using GPS to an accuracy of 10-50 metres.
The second technology is GSM locating technology. This is the same technology that your mobile phone uses. The Tracker determines its position by ‘triangulating’ its position relative to the phone masts it can detect. The more masts (Urban areas) the greater the accuracy). This is an advantage especially when the Tracker is underground, indoors, under metal or out of sight of GPS satellites but where Cellular coverage remains available. The disadvantage with GSM mobile tracking technology is it has poorer accuracy than GPS technology. This is mostly true for those that want to locate something in the less densely populated areas, where the telephone masts are farther apart. It is actually the more masts there are in an area, the better accuracy you will receive. In urban areas you can expect accuracy for a position somewhere between +-25-300 meters, while in rural areas it can be as far off as several kilometers.
A third tracking techology that GPS Trackers use is a Radio Frequency Beacon. The RF Beacon is essentially a homing device. This helps fine tune the position of the GSM data that you would have received . This is a silent radio-pulse which can be triggered on the Tracker via a Server. A team with a Pulse-Detector can go to the area indicated by the GSM data and locate the device -even within buildings & underground. It is accurate up to <1m –assuming it can detect the signal.
RF & GSM are a powerful combination as they can help pinpoint the location of a device even in E.g a towerblock where GPS would be unable to differentiate between floors.
One example of a device that uses these three tracking technologies is the Boomerang Pro GPS Tracker. shown below. This multi-technology tracker (Tri-Tracker) offers a considerable advantage over a standard GPS Tracker when tracking your valuable assets.