Hey, You Kids, Get Out of My Car!
Geoconferencing systems play dual roles of cop and babysitter
By Brett Solomon
Imagine a customer pulling in front of your installation bay with a brand new sports car, dealer tags still freshly screwed into the plastic bodywork. Now imagine a nice score for a mobile electronics dealer: the owner says the dealership suggested purchasing a LoJack security system, but the owner did not think the cellular radio-based tracking device was the best thing the market had to offer.
Your sale is made—as long as you're carrying some of the aftermarket GPS-based tracking products in which all specialty mobile electronics dealers should be well-versed.
A leg up on lojack AND ONSTAR
Telematics has been an industry buzzword for the past few years, but until recently, telematics-based security systems were clumsy and awkward to install, or just did not work in the way the customer or installer would demand they work.
With the prices of GPS receivers and cellular transmitters steadily decreasing, the aftermarket specialist can take advantage of selling the customer the latest in GPS tracking technology.
A big selling point of these systems is that not only can the police track the customer's vehicle in real time, but that, unlike LoJack, the customer can too with the help of an internet connection. So, from the customer's point of view, not only can he or she keep an eye on that four-wheeled pride and joy from the office, but he or she can also see if the kids are breaking the speed limit when they borrow the car on a Friday night.
Directed Electronics is releasing a new line of GPS products under the Viper, Clifford, Python and Automate brands. The new units use a GPS receiver in the vehicle to fix on its exact latitude and longitude. Once that is accomplished, an integrated analog cellular unit sends Directed Electronics data from the vehicle, including speed and direction. That data is then interpreted, and those who have access to the internet with a passcode can see where the vehicle is, how fast it is traveling, and in what direction it is traveling. "Most impressively, it is just a standard installation, similar to an alarm, in that it should be stealth so a thief won't be aware of it," says Ken Gammage, product specialist for Directed Electronics.