Tracking is big business, and with the availability of GPS technologies, there are literally thousands of suppliers and applications around the world that enable individuals or companies to track everything from cars to pets to people and watch where they move on a map.
But until recently, there’s been a gap in the market.
Not everyone has a GPS enabled phone. In Sri Lanka, smartphone penetration is estimated to be around 15%. So, what about the rest of the population who are still more than happy to use their feature phones – low cost phones for example, that enable them to make calls and send and receive SMSs?
Track-Them-All or TTA is a tool that can track the location of any mobile phone as long as it is turned on. Here’s how it works.
If you want your location to be shared with others, you send a SMS to a short code and join the system. Once you have registered your mobile number with the TTA platform, you can join existing groups, or visit the platform via any web browser (from any device) and create your own group, and add the registered mobile number to the group. After that you can see the locations of mobiles that are part of the group on a map.
TTA is perfect for tracking your friends, or finding the location of your preferred group of trishaw drivers or taxis. If they are near your location, you can send them an SMS through the platform and organize a meetup, or have them come pick you up. The platform can also be used companies that want to track where their staff is. For example, a sales force might be travelling across the island conducting promotions and the platform can give a birds eye view as to where everyone is at any given time.
The platform is not as accurate as GPS tracking systems, because it relies on the mobile tower data to identify the location of the phones. However, for hundreds of cases, knowing the approximate location is more than enough. GPS can be accurate to a few meters, and our research suggests that TTA gives an accuracy of approximately 200 meters. While you may not be able to tell if someone is at your door step, you’ll be able to know if they are in close vicinity.
Right now, TTA is in beta and we would love to see you give it a try. It is operational and the tracking and mapping features fully work. The platform is compatible with any dialog mobile number, and in the near future, we will be forming relationships with the other telecommunication operators in Sri Lanka.
Go to www.track-them-all.com for more information. We would love your feedback.
- by Sam Silva