GPS TRACKERS ARE LIKE SEATBELTS IN TRINIDAD -LIFE SAVERS-
Why This Technology Cannot Be Ignored
Today our local criminals are unlike criminals of 10, 20 or 30 years ago; crimes are different, less sophisticated,brazen, violent and unforgiving. They use deadly state-of-the-art weaponry with excessive force, are insensitive and not averse to taking a life. According to TnT Police Crime and Problem Analysis Branch CAPA) there were a total of 6,541 serious crimes in 2008. Amazingly, for the first six months of 2009, serious crimes recorded are 8,010. For both years the detection rates are below 2 percent but there is a response. The country has reached a state of unprecedented violent and serious crimes. There is a peculiar fact of most serious crimes.
In some form or fashion, most at some point involves the use of an automobile. Usually, because of the need to be mobile, or as a get away alternative; an automobile is essential. It is also known that many serious crimes begin with the stealing/taking of an automobile. Here again, CAPA reported that in 2008, 710 vehicles were stolen (15 detected) and in 2009 so far that figure is 853 (40 detected) for the first six months. Do you see a trend here?
Stealing by stealth is the old fashion way of acquiring an automobile. Thieves of yesteryear could easily hot wire your vehicle and be gone within a few short minutes. Today, it’s even quicker and easier because by using force they can effortlessly bypass the sophisticated audible anti-theft alarms like Viper or other brands of annoying noise makers. They work fine but are totally useless when a gun is involved.
Currently most proactive, sophisticated anti-theft alarms available on the market are ineffective against the new crime wave. Most insurers, banks and financial institutions require that a security device be installed in every new vehicle. So now, aside from these devices becoming a numbing annoyance, now, even the unsophisticated criminal knows how to disable them. But technology has upped the ante. Grass root organizations advocating the use of technology are beginning to form. Trinidad and Tobago welcomes GPS.
GPS tracking technology is not new to Trinidad and Tobago because there have been a number of companies offering some type of GPS tracking service since the mid nineties. These companies have adopted what they considered a complete security package where they not only track your vehicle but provide a rapid response team to retrieve it and provide roadside assistance as a bundled service. Their business model required an up front purchase of equipment and a monthly maintenance fee to infinity. Because of the high acquisition cost, their target large rental companies, large conglomerates and the affluent.
As with most technological devices, it was only a matter of time before the price went down. The challenge now is not the price but understanding the technology with the variety of models the market. There is a need for understanding on not really “how it works” but “how can it affect your life”. Because of the large selection in the market today with wide ranges of functions and features you just cannot take the word of one supplier. Some consumers are now committed because they have signed contracts obligating them to continue making excessive payments. There are a number of alternatives for getting a GPS tracker without entering into monthly contract to infinity.
The bulk of the new technology is coming out of Japan, China and Taiwan. These devices come with varying capabilities. The fact is that GPS technology can be used anywhere in the globe. There are only a very few points on the globe that cannot be triangulated with the satellites in space.
As such, any GPS device will provide geographic coordinates (longitudinal and latitudinal) for the user. In most of the cases, because the information it provides is coded, a computer must be used in order to locate a vehicle. For the Trinidad and Tobago general public, ease of use, user friendliness and access to a computer becomes a major issue in adopting these devices. The complexity issue is also one of the major weaknesses of non-localized imported devices because it’s a technological challenge to most users.
There are, however, a handful of GPS trackers that incorporates Smart Cellular Phone technology: The smart device which is installed in the vehicle is a microcomputer with landmark databases, GPS tracker, mobile phone and motion detector…. all rolled into one! These devices were designed for general international use, with a few landmarks obtained from public databases and most cannot identify local land marks.
Many still rely exclusively on Google Maps and Google Earth web technology to provide any meaningful information. As such, even when some of these devices use a cell phone the information about the actual location is not readily available. Ease of use is extremely important especially to the general public who may not have access to the internet.
The quality of the device boils down to the quality of the information and how quickly that information is provided. If you live in Trinidad and would like to know more about GPS technology in Trinidad such as: how GPS works, the TT insurance company’s position, the average price range, your options and the criteria you should use when choosing a tracker get the free special report entitled: