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[Consolidated]: Luggage Tracking Solutions (was: Trakdot to help you track your...)

[Consolidated]: Luggage Tracking Solutions (was: Trakdot to help you track your...)

Old Jan 7, 13, 12:02 pm
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tpr
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[Consolidated]: Luggage Tracking Solutions (was: Trakdot to help you track your...)

Just read this news.

Sounds promising!

This may be a relief to those suffering from a post-flight trauma while waiting at the carousel (did my luggage make it?).
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Old Jan 7, 13, 12:15 pm
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My guess is that it will never make it to production. Their website doesn't even work, yet they issued a press release for it? www.trakdot.com

The address of the company looks like a dump on google street view. The parent company didn't even bother customizing their web template to link to their social media sites, instead linking to the creators of the template. www.globatrac.com

I had been using a Boost mobile phone + instamapper to do vehicle tracking, but since instamapper and Sprint started to shut down the iDEN network, I haven't found anything similar, at a low cost. The Boost solution was $10 / 3 months.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 12:31 pm
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There's already products like it out on the market, and has been for years (though never very successful). I can't possibly see this working, it relies on Cell Phone towers and not GPS, so it's probably not going to get you all that close to the bag. Knowing it's at an airport is no where near as good as GPS that may at least let you know which terminal. And it's pretty doubtful the airlines will ban cell phones in the cabin, but allow cell signals in the luggage hold.

From 2006 - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ggage-gps.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...l-luggage.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...gage-tags.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...age-again.html.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 6:14 pm
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According to an article about it, it turns off at 100 knots and turns on again when the motion stops. It sounds like a neat trick if they can pull it off.
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Old Jan 7, 13, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
There's already products like it out on the market, and has been for years (though never very successful). I can't possibly see this working, it relies on Cell Phone towers and not GPS, so it's probably not going to get you all that close to the bag. Knowing it's at an airport is no where near as good as GPS that may at least let you know which terminal. And it's pretty doubtful the airlines will ban cell phones in the cabin, but allow cell signals in the luggage hold.
GPS has no chance at all of working in the terminal. It's got to be off the towers or wi-fi.

Also, it sounds like it's designed to turn off when it senses the takeoff roll and then when it comes back on the transmitters aren't active until it figures out that it's back on the ground. From a safety standpoint the only hurdle I see is whether the FAA will trust that it will shut down it's transmitters when it's supposed to.

Whether it will make it to market is another matter--this very well might be an attempt to drum up interest to get funding.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 2:01 pm
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The website is online by now and it sounds like a great tool. But we will have to wait until they release the product in April.
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Old Jan 15, 13, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
From a safety standpoint the only hurdle I see is whether the FAA will trust that it will shut down it's transmitters when it's supposed to.
The stories about it from the past couple of days are saying they already are FAA approved. They don't say if they just got that or if it's something they already have, but if they actually have FAA approval that's a huge step.

Last edited by cordelli; Jan 15, 13 at 2:54 pm
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Old Jan 15, 13, 11:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
GPS has no chance at all of working in the terminal. It's got to be off the towers or wi-fi.
From their website :

Trakdot™ Luggage is constantly monitoring the cellular network to determine it's city location.
No mention on their website about international support, which I presume means there isn't any.
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Old Jan 16, 13, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
No mention on their website about international support, which I presume means there isn't any.
From their FAQ:
Q: Are there any countries in which the device will not operate?
A: Please email us the country or countries in question and we will advise you.

looks somehow international to me ...
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Old Jan 16, 13, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post

No mention on their website about international support, which I presume means there isn't any.
It says it works anywhere your phone does, and says you can track your luggage anywhere in the world

I would assume that is international.

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Old Jan 16, 13, 3:17 pm
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I believe it has to be GSM and also GPS ,

it needs to transmit where it is, or its last known place if it went into an area without GSM or GPS coverage,

Its the same idea as a Pet tracker that Best Buy sells....
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Old Jan 22, 13, 3:41 pm
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Pet trackers have a real GPS receiver and location transmitter - plus a hefty monthly fee. I looked into them when I had a German Shepherd that liked to wander.

I looked into some of the other information out there on this and it does not have a GPS receiver. That would be useless in the belly of a plane or bowels of an airport anyway. It works off of the cell towers, so best it will be able to figure out is "about 1.5 miles from that cell tower near JFK". Not sure how that helps find lost luggage.

It also uses Bluetooth to notify you when it is on the baggage carrousel. Of course Bluetooth only has a 30 foot range, so by the time it is close enough to pair with your phone, you will be within sight range of your bag. If you are standing at the belt, that would be a 60 foot diameter circle around you, assuming no obstructions. I'm guessing the belt moves around 2 miles and hour, or 3 feet per second. That is about 20 seconds in range, at best. Pink duct tape will help you locate your bag much faster.

I'm guessing "FAA approved" really means, the FAA has not seen it so has not issued a ban on it yet. It does not turn itself off until the takeoff roll, so it is already functioning during taxi when electronics are banned. Radio receivers are always banned in flight (except wifi), so it is still in violation when it turns itself back on after 20 minutes even if it does not transmit. Then you have the occasional emergency return to the airport. This thing will start operating again right about the time they are trying to land the one engine plane with all kinds of warning bells going off. Even if the FAA didn't ban it, I can see the TSA will as it can obviously be used as a bomb trigger when paired with a bottle of shampoo and electric razor.

I won't be investing...
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Old Jan 22, 13, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by tev9999 View Post
It works off of the cell towers, so best it will be able to figure out is "about 1.5 miles from that cell tower near JFK". Not sure how that helps find lost luggage.
Sometimes I am already happy to know in what country my baggage is

GSM tracking usually can tell the distance to more than one tower and therefore can be quite precise.
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Old Jan 24, 13, 6:25 pm
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Very interesting. I would love to have it for my bag which usually gets delayed.
I wonder how often it updates the system? Could it be used for other purposes like tracking a car?
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Old Mar 2, 13, 10:50 am
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Now delayed until June, but pre-orders are available and forgive the activation fee. I think I will become a guinea pig.
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