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TrackStick: The Coolest New GPS Gadget On The Market

Aug 17, 2007
Are you afraid of your kids getting into trouble and do you want to know where they have been?

Are you a business owner who needs to verify where your employees have been?

Would you like to track your time, speed, distance and miles traveled?

If you're nodding your head at any of the above scenarios, your needs can be fulfilled with an awesome new gadget called the TrackStick. In fact, the Trackstick has various other applications, which makes it a device that can be very useful to practically anyone and everyone. If you want to know how the TrackStick can be of use to you (and believe me it will be), read on.

The TrackStick Explained

The TrackStick is a unique little GPS device, which has the ability to record its own movement and thus that of the person or vehicle it is on. It can record the date, time, location, heading, speed, and altitude of the place it is in; thereby giving you a thorough record of its movements.

The TrackStick is not a real time GPS device, but is a passive GPS recorder. What this means is that it keeps a log of every movement it makes and the data logging can be preset at intervals of 1 minute to 15 minutes.

Dimensions and Design

At 4.1 inches by 1.2 inches by inch (length, width, and thickness), the TrackStick is quite a small unit. It is extremely simple to use as it features only one button on its side that enables you to on/off the device and also change the modes between full power mode and low power mode. Thus, even if you are electronically challenged (like me), you will still be able to use the TrackStick easily.

Its outer covering is black in color, but it is transparent, thereby enabling you to see inside the unit. This is where the LED indicator lights are installed (green and red), which indicate the mode on which the unit is turned to, and also if it has locked onto the satellites for a recording. Thus, unlike other similar units, you know exactly when the GPS TrackStick is working and when it's not.

The TrackStick also has a convenient carrying strap which makes it easy to carry on your person or hang it from something else. It also features a neat USB 1.1 connector that plugs easily into a computer's USB port.

How The TrackStick Works

The TrackStick works like any other GPS device, wherein it locks onto satellites wherever it goes and gives its positioning accordingly. This device gets signals from as many as 24 satellites in space, thereby being able to pinpoint its location within 15 meters of where it is, which is saying a lot for accuracy.

Regardless of where you are (at any location on Earth), the TrackStick will log your movements. The latest GPS mapping technologies are at work here, thus giving you your precise location, which can be seen as graphical maps and 3D satellite pictures.

Once the data has been recorded in the memory of the TrackStick, you can then retrieve this data by plugging the USB connector on the unit to the USB Port in your computer. You can then download the recorded information by using various kinds of software.

For it to work optimally, the TrackStick should be placed in such a place that it has an unblocked view of the sky and that there is no metal between the unit and the sky.

TrackStick Software

Some would say that the software is the best part about the TrackStick; and having used the unit myself, I would certainly have to agree. The makers didn't leave anything out in this regard. The recorded data can be outputted into different formats such as XLS (Excel spread sheets), RTF (rich text format with html links), standard HTML, and Google Earth KML (with pushpins and fly-thru both).

Every kind of data that you may require is recorded by the GPS TrackStick and can be viewed in the format of your choice. The free software that comes with the TrackStick can be used with various mapping programs and services like Google Earth, Mapquest, VirtualEarth, Microsoft streets and trips, and maps.google.com; most of which can be had for free too.

Batteries and Memory

This device has a memory of 1 MB, which essentially means that you can store months of data easily. It has the ability to log 4000 different records of time, date, location, speed, altitude, and course. If you are stationary and the TrackStick is not moving, the memory will not be in use. On full power mode the batteries can last for 16 hours, whereas on low power mode they can be used for about a week before they will require changing.

The Benefits of the TrackStick

Well, now that you know what the TrackStick is and how it works, it's time to tell you how it can be of use to you.

1. Business Applications: If you are in a line of work where you charge per visit, or where you need to log your traveled miles to obtain tax deductible expenses, the TrackStick can be a valuable resource. By using this handy device, you can keep a complete log of all your visits, the number of miles traveled, and also how much time you stopped at a particular place for. So, no more forgetting to log your miles and not getting paid for them at the end of the year!

The TrackStick can also be given to your employees if they handle such business for you. Bulk purchase of these devices can be made at attractive discounts.

2. Tracking family members: As mentioned at the beginning, you can use the TrackStick to monitor the movements of your family members, including your children and your spouse. All you need to do is place the device in their car or in their bag and you can get a complete record of where they've been, how much time they spent at a particular person's home etc. Although spying is not a desirable alternative, it has to be resorted to at times. Thus, with the TrackStick, you need not pay for detective services and can also keep your spying under wraps.

3. Personal Travel Records: With the TrackStick, your backpacking adventures and travel tales need not be told only through some pictures. Instead, you can record your actual course and see it in real time with graphical mapping and even have access to satellite pictures. Another great use for this device is to people who are interested in radio controlled hobbies. The speed and altitudes of your planes, boats, and cars can easily be recorded with the GPS TrackStick.

In addition to the above, another advantage of the TrackStick is that it is an economical buy ($249), considering that it is a one time cost. You need not pay any monthly airtime fees like with other GPS devices, nor do you have to spend hundreds of dollars in buying expensive software. All this definitely makes the TrackStick a great buy. You won't know it unless you try it!
About the Author
George Karonis procures distribution and sales for innovative and unique products. Learn more about the GPS Track Stick by visiting http://www.gpstrackstick.com
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