Friday, November 30, 2007



PocketFinder is a small device that uses GPS to locate itself and provide updates to the registered user of that device. The device seems to use cell phone networks to send the updates and registered users can track it online.

The obvious use of such a product is to track children and pets. From the website and product packaging - that looks like the segment the product is currently being aimed at. Obviously one could place the device in a vehicle for vehicle tracking, which would make it useful as a business application of the device.

One thing that I am not sure of is as to what the device will do indoors or in GPS shadow regions. It would be cool if it could use the cell-phone networks to get an approximate location (just like the new Google Maps Mobile does - using the strength of signals coming from the cell phone towers). That would be an extremely important feature when it comes to parents who are buying the product to track their kids.


The idea of the PocketFinder itself is not new. If you look at my previous post Open Source GPS Tracking Solution, you will see that there exists an open source project that would enable just such GPS application. PocketFinder just like the GumStix project is not a completely new idea, but both projects show one thing that is important - Marketing. Both these products have a good name, good packaging, an excellent web-site and are slowly creating brand and product awareness.


No word on when the device will be available for purchase right now. (The retail locator currently doesn't return any results). One thing I am sure about, is that they will probably have a subscription model as they will have to pay for the access to the cell phone networks for the purpose of transmitting the location data.

Going forward into the future, I do wonder how much of a demand will there be for such a product, as most cell phones will be location aware via Assisted GPS and so the concept could be implemented as a software solution. It will definitely have a market for tracking very young children, the elderly, pets as well as vehicles.

Also for future features - these devices could transmit small snippets of sound, environment readings (heat, humidity, etc) - which would be useful for vehicle or shipment tracking. It would be cool if these features could be added as add on modules to a basic device. That way depending on the application one could pick and choose the features that they need.

The PocketFinder is being developed by a company called Location Based Technologies.

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