Thanks to the commercialization of the GPS tracking device, people can now easily locate their vehicles and other things of importance. For quite some time, only the military was able to use these devices, employing them for navigation. Today, however, they are available to the civilian market and they are said to be one of the most revolutionary technological inventions of our time. They are used by the military, law enforcement, the freight industry, fleet owners, parents, pet owners, private investigators, hikers, and more. Essentially, a tracking device allows you to pinpoint the location of the device anywhere on the planet. They are now often fitted as standard to wristwatches, vehicles, motorcycles, boats, and cellphones. This also means that, if you have the GPS tracker, you can find out exactly where you are as well, and how you can get to a destination.
The Development of GPS Devices
Thanks to technological advances, GPS devices have come a long way. In their early days during the 1980s, they were huge, bulky devices that needed an open sky and flat surroundings to communicate with orbiting satellites. Today, however, they are tiny devices. So small, in fact, that they can even be fitted to pet collars! Not just that, they link up not just to orbiting satellites, but also to the internet. This has opened up a world of possibilities to various different people.
For instance, private investigators can now covertly attach a GPS tracker to the vehicle or coat of someone they are following. This is something that was thought of before in James Bond movies, but was never materialized. Even in James Bond movies, the technology was crude and slow. The reality is incredibly exciting, however, allowing people to see exactly where someone is in real time, how long they have been in certain locations, how they got there, at what speed, and more.
There are many different types of GPS trackers available now, however. You need to see them, however, as part of one of two main categories:
- The devices that can be tracked remotely. Those are the ones described above, in which there is a GPS transmitter and a GPS receiver. The receiver monitors where someone is and when, either in real time or through regular updates.
- The devices that cannot be tracked remotely. These are more like flash drives that keep a history of someone’s movements. Once they get to a computer, they can plug in their GPS devices to determine where they have been.
Both these options have their place, and there are now also devices that do both. A good example is the cellphone. So long as it is connected to the internet, you can open up Google Maps and see where you are, following its directions. At the same time, you can install trackers on them so that you can find your phone if it is ever stolen. This is also a technology that parents like to use, as it means they can keep track of where their children are at all times.