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NEW PATENTS AWARDED TO HEMISPHERE GPS

Canadian-based Hemisphere GPS, manufacturer of advanced GNSS products, has announced they have been awarded a variety of new patents dealing with adaptive machine control and GNSS solutions, the latest advancements in these areas.

 

The Adaptive Machine Control System and Method patent explains the intricate adaptive control methods relied upon to guide vehicles while remaining accurate and efficient. This GPS tracking system consists of a machine controller, GNSS guidance system, and software, and is used most often in precision farming operations. Pre-planned guidance patterns tell the GPS tracking system the optimal pattern adjustments for guidance and steering, and the system takes into account the actual ground conditions as specified by the user including boundary or terrain irregularities, path, and minimum turning radius. The system also provides spray nozzle control, helpful when fertilizing the fields as it helps guard against spraying the same row of crops twice. Farmers rely on this technology to save time and money, while at the same time increasing crop yields. The patent supports both current products offered by Hemisphere GPS as well as new developments within their precision farming lines, such as the Outback Guidance line of products.

 

Other patents awarded to Hemisphere GPS (a grand total of seven) include advanced GNSS solutions dealing with antenna design, an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), tracking of fixed and slow-moving structures, multiple antenna control system, antenna alignment and monitoring system, augmentation of differential corrections, and vehicle guidance control.

 

Dr. Mike Whitehead, Chief Scientist for Hemisphere GPS, said “Hemisphere GPS’ commitment to innovation has generated over 75 pending and issued patents. Through these inventions and sophisticated new technology, we continuously enhance capability and performance of our positioning, guidance, and machine control solutions in the marketplace.”

 

For more information on the patents granted to Hemisphere GPS, visitwww.HemisphereGPS.com/Patents.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

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NEW MULTI-SENSOR GPS SYSTEM INTRODUCED FOR GIS INDUSTRY

Altus Positioning Systems, based in Torrance, CA, has announced their newly developed GPS-based data acquisition system tailored to the GIS industry, otherwise known as geographic information system or geospatial information studies. A GIS system is designed to record, analyze, manipulate, and manage all kinds of geographical data for a wide range of industries.

 

The new system released by Altus features an ikeGPS multi-sensor data acquisition system along with a collection of built-in software tools for data-collection projects. The ikeGPS device is a GPS receiver, 3-D compass, laser rangefinder, and digital camera, all merged together in one rugged handheld device. This full integration adds up to a low-cost solution for gathering geospatial data and 3-D GIS imagery. The GPS system allows the user to locate objects simply and quickly from a single location thanks to the laser rangefinder and compass, which uses the recorder’s GPS coordinates as a reference point. The camera allows a visual reference for each object recorded in the database, as well as the option to calculate GPS location coordinates for specific objects right from these photographs.

 

Neil Vancans, CEO/president of Altus Positioning Systems, said, “The ikeGPS multi-sensor platform enables the capturing of GIS data in situations that would be otherwise impossible using traditional GIS equipment. The ikeGPS mobile GIS solutions provide unique improvements on conentional GIS data-collection efficiency. It also enables the user to capture accurate measurements of remote objects – for instance, across a busy highway, barbed-wire fence or stream – from safe distances with its point-and-shoot capability, producing verifiable, geo-referenced data collection.”

 

Vancans pointed out that these ikeGPS devices can be interfaced with Altus’ APS-3 GNSS RTK receivers, which are survey-grade, providing accuracy to the centimeter and ensuring high-precision positioning. The ikeGPS and other GPS/GNSS products were showcased in the Altus booth at the ESRI 2012 Users Conference in San Diego in late July.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

GARMIN ANNOUNCES NEW FENIX GPS WATCH

Garmin, a top name in the GPS industry, announced the release of their new Fenix GPS watch earlier this month, designed with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. It is extremely rugged and made for exploring off the beaten path. Priced at $400, it won’t likely attracthikers of all levels, but will certainly appeal to the avid hiker.

 

The watch is designed kind of like Garmin‘s Forerunner GPS watches with its round LCD display and buttons placed on the edge. It doesn’t have a touchscreen like the high-end Forerunner models, but that’s likely because a touchscreen could not be adequately waterproofed or scratch-resistant. This powerhouse of a watch will reach depths of 160 feet under the water, and can handle scratches from branches you might rub against, quite common in off-the-trail hiking. Don’t worry about slipping and falling on the trail either, the Fenix can handle it (whether or not your body can is another question altogether.)

 

The Fenix brings a new feature to the interface which graphically represents the path you are hiking and pinpoints your GPS location on it. You can set this path before you leave the house by creating waypoints, or create your trail as you hike with a GPS breadcrumb trail, making you like a technological Hansel and Gretel. This allows you to explore without worrying about getting lost, or looking for visual landmarks along the way. If you see a nice spot to picnic, you can hike to it and find your way back to the trail with ease. The watch also features built-in barometer, compass, and altimeter so that you always know your bearing and direction.

 

Use Garmin’s software to track all your trips for future reference, as well as managing paths. The software also allows you to send the tracks you’ve hiked or waypoints to the Garmin GPS devices or “select smartphones” of your friends, although Garmin hasn’t said which smartphones will be compatible with this service. Now you can easily have your hiking buddies on the same page, all following the map you’ve created.

 

Pick up a Fenix for about $400 online or at your local sporting goods store. Garmin is estimating the devices will be on store shelves this fall.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

UPGRADES FOR NAVIGON APP FOR IOS

Garmin has announced their Navigon GPS app for iOS will be receiving some upgrades after Apple and Google both announced their plans to upgrade their own standard GPS apps, as well as Microsoft announcing their new Windows Phone 8OS will include free GPS navigation and onboard maps. Navigon version 2.1 adds Google Street View and Cockpit, which displays driving data, available as an in-app purchase. The Navigon GPS app will still offer a routing algorithm and onboard maps.

 

Garmin has also made a few improvements, such as the amount of time the app takes to start as well as map-rendering speed. Zooming and panning are much quicker, and graphics look sharper when viewed on the iPad’s amazing Retina display. If there are specific roads you wish to avoid, use the manual road blocking feature, where you can let the app know which roads you’d rather not travel on.

 

Use Google Street View to see a street-level image of your destination before you even head out on the road, which is helpful for finding a building you are unfamiliar with. Anyone who’s used a GPS app knows it isn’t exactly precise when it comes to locating a specific address, sometimes driving past your destination without even realizing it, or seeing your destination down the block while your GPS device or app is telling you to “Turn left!” While going along the route the app has calculated for you, the Street View image of the building appears again when you are almost there.

 

The Cockpit function, brand new to the Navigon app, brings real-time driving data to the screen in a cockpit-style display: gForce, speed, adjustable speed and altitude graph, and horizontal and vertical position. There is also an off-road screen, which displays altitude and a compass for your off-roading adventures. This feature is available for $5.99 as an in app purchase.

 

Garmin decided to withhold comment on the upcoming upgraded maps to be offered by Apple and Google. “There is just not enough information available at this point to provide a qualified evaluation of the new navigation feature for iOS 6,” said a Garmin spokesman. He said the Garmin apps are able to successfully compete with the free apps included with the phones because “we’re able to provide navigation products that offer a wide range of unique features to provide highly accurate and reliable road guidance. We provide a wide range of other premium features [compared to current navigation apps], such as comprehensive lane guidance with actual road signs, spoken directions that include street names, top-notch routing technology based on our 20 years of experience, speed warnings, parking information, safety camera warnings, among many others.”

 

Current Navigon GPS app users will receive the upgrades for free.

Author: Khristen Foss

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

3 FIRED FROM BURGER KING AFTER GPS DATA REVEALS BRANCH RESPONSIBLE FOR DISGUSTING VIRAL PHOTO

Fast food chains are not known for the highest quality food or employees. Patrons know there’s a slight risk of a hormonal teenager spitting in their onion rings. We’ve all heard horror stories of food poisoning, or worse, known of fast food employees who admit to such unsanitary behavior. We hope, however, that management can ensure that the food we pay for is hygienic and edible when it reaches our mouth. Health and safety codes are in place for a reason. E. Coli and other bacteria can cause serious illness and even death. When a viral photo made its way across the Internet earlier this month, of a Burger King employee standing in lettuce bins, people were less than amused and made sure that the employees were held accountable.

 

The half-witted employees posted the incriminating photo on the infamous 4Chan.com, a site known for disturbing content, with a caption that read, “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.” Apparently the employees either thought the forum would find the image amusing, or they were simply unaware that GPS location data is embedded and easily accessible on most photos posted online. This author’s guess would be the latter, considering the antagonistic tone of the posters caption. The GPS location data was quickly accessed by the tech-savvy readers at 4Chan.com, and traced the genius employees to a Burger King branch in Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

 

The readers at 4Chan.com rallied enough people to call and complain to the branch manager to get three employees fired from the chain. Burger King Corp. reported that it is “taking the issue very seriously” and stressed that there is zero tolerance for employees that violate the strict health codes for handling food. “The franchise has taken swift action to investigate this matter and has terminated the three employees involved in the incident,” a representative from Burger King Corp. said in a statement released to the Daily News. It seems that more and more often, GPS location data is used to hold criminals, and other unsavory characters, accountable for their actions.

Author: Marisa O’Connor

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps tracking needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

TRACKING THAT FITS THE AVERAGE FAMILY BUDGET

A new product from Garmin makes it possible for you to affordably track anything with feet, wheels, or wings. Granted, you can track most smartphones at home, but sometimes your teenaged adventurers can “forget” to keep their phones on them, particularly if they know you are watching. Also, there are some trackable subjects that can’t carry phones (pets, for instance). The Garmin GTU 10 is small enough to attach to nearly anything, and sends back regular updates to the person back at home base. While this GPS equipment, like many others, experiences signal failure when surrounded by tall buildings, it has a few very useful features that makes it ideal for most families with a need for tracking ability.

The most popular and reliable feature of the Garmin GTU 10 is its geofencing application. On a map, the user can stake out a perimeter, then program the GPS equipment to send an alert by email or text message if it crosses the border. This is great, not only for keeping a tracked item, pet, or person inside a certain area, but also for finding out when someone enters the area—a spouse driving to work or a teen biking to school, for example. Since this feature is usually not hampered by “urban canyons” and saves battery life when compared to a periodic update system, it is powerful and quite reliable.

The standard real-time tracking that we expect in GPS equipment like this is available as well, although it works on a periodic update basis. You can set it to report location twice every minute, but the battery will only last up to 24 hours. If you only want updates every fifteen minutes, on the other hand, you might get four weeks of use before recharging the battery.

The size of the Garmin GTU 10 is another important point. It is only one by three inches in size, and less than an inch thick. It’s light enough for a jogger to forget about it, and small enough to live in a backpack without taking up valuable textbook area. The first year of service is free with the unit’s purchase, but after that the service costs about 50 dollars annually.

Author: Mark Rummel

Source: www.rmtracking.com

Your one stop for gps monitoring needs, contact an experienced GPS Monitoring Specialist to assist you with any GPS situtation.

GPS THEFT RECOVERY MEETS EXTREME SPORTING

The auto industry, in cooperation with police departments, has had great success using GPS theft recovery devices—dealers and owners alike can rest easier knowing that, if someone were able to make off with a vehicle, all they would have to do is contact the police and tell them where the GPS signal was currently transmitting from. There is another category of vehicles that could be an even better market for these types of recovery devices, and now a company named Inilex has created the first one tailored toward this market.

 

Powersport vehicles are small, motorized pieces of equipment, like ATVs, snowmobiles, and jet skis. Thieves target these small vehicles even more than cars, because they are very easy to transport. They can just toss them into a pickup truck or large van, without even turning them on. These popular vehicles are usually worth a lot of money, so a quick, successful theft often pays off.

 

Unless, that is, that ATV is equipped with Inilex’s GPS theft recovery system, called SkyLINK PowerSport. Once the owner turns the vehicle off, the device sets itself to broadcast an alert if it is moved. The equipment is very small so it remains hidden from criminals’ view, and it runs on only a minimal amount of the vehicle’s battery power. This part of the device turns off as soon as you turn the key.

 

As with other anti-theft systems based on GPS, police simply follow the signal to the vehicle’s location in order to recover it. Because of the way law enforcement agencies prioritize reported crimes, a crime “in progress” receives immediate attention, and a moving GPS theft recovery device qualifies as a crime in progress.  Thefts are usually resolved and equipment returned to the owners within a day.

 

This gadget also has some very useful qualities even when no one is trying to steal it. If a friend wants to borrow your snowmobile and you have less than complete confidence in his driving abilities, you can set the SkyLINK device to alert you if its moving speed, location, or other indicators get outside your preset boundaries. Then all you have to do is make a quick phone call and tell your reckless buddy to get off the bike.

MAPQUEST’S FREE GPS APP: WORTH THE DOWNLOAD?

A common phrase uttered when someone asks “Do you need directions?” used to be “That’s ok, I’ll just Mapquest it.” Now, with so many GPS devices and apps on the market, it has almost become a thing of the past. Gone are the days of handwritten directions, or ancient maps almost impossible to fold up to glove box size after you’ve unfolded it. It looks like the GPS device itself might become a thing of the past after the surge of free apps for smartphone users. But the downside: with so many GPS navigational apps on the market, how do you know which is worth the storage space on your smartphone?

Yes, iPhone comes with its own GPS app already installed out of the box, but many dislike the fact it doesn’t talk. Some Android phones come with a talking app, but some find it too simplistic. You really need an app that talks as looking down at a street map can be quite dangerous while driving, and Mapquest has released a new app that guides you by voice while at the same time pronouncing street names correctly (my father’s GPS device in his car can’t even do this) for your Android, iPhone, or Blackberry.

Coupon blogger Heather Tenney was given the opportunity to test the app since last July, and test it she did, taking it along during long family road trips. She fell in love with it, especially the fact it acted just like a $300 GPS device: “It tells me to turn in 50 feet, it says the famous ‘recalculating,’ it gets you where you need to go the same as a regular GPS unit would.”

She did point out some downsides, as have other reviewers. The most obvious downfall (and you don’t even need to download the app to figure this one out on your own): the screen is small. Remember, you are using your phone, and if you don’t have a dashboard mount for it, it is almost impossible to see the map. Holding your phone while you are driving and glancing at the map periodically can be dangerous, and shouldn’t be attempted.

Another downside you may not realize is that the whole time you are using the app, you are using a significant portion of your data plan. Tenney said, “You want to make sure if you are going to use any GPS app you are going to have a good data plan, because it eats through data.” Also remember that if you drive through a dead zone (no signal), your route will cease to update itself. GPS devices like Tom Tom and Garmin operate using satellite signal rather than cell phone towers, making them ideal for long distance navigation.

So back to the main issue of whether or not a free app can be as effective as a physical GPS device. If you are just taking a quick trip to visit a friend’s new house or wonder where that new restaurant is in town, the free app will do just fine. However, if you are traveling across the country or even a few states away, you might consider picking up a GPS device made exclusively for this purpose. That is, unless you have a truly unlimited data plan and trust that your service will not be interrupted for the duration of the trip. Otherwise, you just might end up missing an exit or four, ending up a hundred miles west of your destination.

Amber Alert GPS V3: 2012 CTIA Emerging Technology Award Finalist

Finalists have been named for the 2012 CTIA Wireless Emerging Technology Awards, and included in that list is Amber Alert GPS for their V3, the newest device on the market allowing parents to worry a bit less about the safety of their children. The V3 received a nomination in the Tablets, Notebooks, and Embedded Wireless Devices category along with other cutting-edge mobile, consumer electronics, and wireless devices.

The Amber Alert GPS V3 is said to be among the smallest devices designed to track a child’s location offered on the market today, and is known for its ease of use and security. It offers mobile apps to monitor your child’s whereabouts wherever you may be and features wireless connectivity provided by AT&T. Parents can use the V3 GPS tracking device to keep track of their child’s movements with near real-time precision. This allows the child more freedom and independence while assuring parental peace of mind.

Parents start by creating a “zone,” the area a child travels on a regular basis. Whether it’s the route to school and back, the playground, or even a friend’s house, once the zone is specified, the V3 will trigger an email or text anytime the child enters or exits this zone. Another great feature of this GPS tracking device: an email or text is also triggered whenever the child comes within 500 feet of the home of a registered sex offender, thanks to National Sex Offender Registry integration. If tracking a teen who will likely get into the cars of their friends, the device will send alerts if the vehicle they are traveling in is driving over a certain speed. For younger children, the “breadcrumb” feature is handy, as the device will send out location information at specific, parent programmed times of day, along with an SOS button. This button gives the child a one-touch safety net as each time the button is pressed, help is summoned.

Parents can peruse location information, whether on their computer or wireless device, on a secure, easy to use portal at amberalertgps.com The device is constantly pushing information to the portal at any time of day, no matter where the child may be, at any point in a parents day, even on the go.

“Our goal at Amber Alert GPS is to provide kids the ability to freely explore the world while simultaneously providing busy parents peace-of-mind in regards to their child’s safety and security,” according to CEO of Amber Alert GPS Carol Colombo. “We are honored that our partner AT&T nominated us for this award and to be named a finalist in our category by CTIA.” All nominees will be featured during the International CTIA Wireless in New Orleans. The public is able to vote for the V3 GPS tracking device online, and winners are to be announced Wednesday, May 9.

Improved GPS Tracking: Friend or Foe?

GPS tracking devices are continuously improving. It was only a few years ago that the best commercially available tracking device was nearly as big as a snow globe, with accuracy discrepancies the size of a football field. Since then, the devices have become smaller, more accurate, and more affordable than ever. It wont be long before the GPS dot envisioned in the 2006 Sony Picture’s film, The Da Vinci Code, becomes a reality. Todd Humphreys, of the Department of Aerospace Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin, speculates in a recent article published at InsideGNSS.com that GPS dot-like devices may be available to consumers within the next few years.

There are many advantages to easy, accurate, and affordable GPS tracking dots. WIth devices like these, people will be able to track anything and everything of value. Owners could stick the tiny tracking devices on their children, pets, vehicles, bikes, cameras, and just about anything else. Aside from valuables, the devices can track everyday items that tend to get misplaced. By simply attaching a tracking device to one’s glasses, keys, the remote control, or whatever item that seems to frequently disappear, you can save hours of time that would be spent retracing your steps.

As personal GPS tracking gets easier and more affordable, it can be easy to lose site of the threats posed by such technology. The more accessible and discrete these devices become, the more they will be used by predators. Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must obtain a warrant before tracking suspects with GPS technology. Unfortunately, the laws surrounding citizen-on-citizen tracking are more ambiguous. A more discrete tracking device can make it more difficult for thieves to detect, helping police recover stolen property. However, these devices can also be very difficult to detect in the event that someone is tracking you without your permission. One can hope that as GPS technology advances, we will find better solutions to protect our privacy.