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 Devices That Track Every Precious Need

This story is from the category Sensors
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Date posted: 14/04/2008

Tracking devices that use the Global Positioning System have become so compact and inexpensive that some people are using them routinely to keep tabs on their most precious things.

Kathy Besa of Broomall, Pa., has a device about the size of a pocket pager attached to the collar of her 5-year-old beagle, Buddy. If he wanders more than 20 feet from the house, she gets a text message on her phone that says, ?Buddy has left the premises.? From there she can track his movements over the Web.

The device she uses, is about three inches long, two inches wide and an inch thick and weighs about two and a half ounces. It costs $200, plus $10 a month for the Web tracking service. It can run for days without being recharged, and Ms. Besa says she is notified when the battery is running low.

Some parents are throwing a device into their child?s backpack. An art collector in New York uses one when he transports million-dollar pieces. Every cyclist competing in the Tour de France has one attached to their bike.

A taxi dispatcher tracks his fleet on a computer monitor so he knows which car is closest to a pickup, at a glance. A plumbing services company watches the movements of its workers to give customers a more precise time of arrival than an eight-hour range.

The sensor web is unfolding around us, thanks to the availability and increasing accuracy of GPS.

See the full Story via external site: www.nytimes.com

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