About this project
Stay tuned with your loved ones
“We don’t like worries….and we actually don’t like control either! Especially when it concerns our loved ones! But we know that the majority of worries are for no reason. That’s why we believe in a solution that gives reliable and easy information that washes the worries away.”
Trax is a tiny smart personal GPS tracker that through an App can be located nearly anytime, from almost anywhere. Trax is easy to use, water proof and durable. It has a built in sensor that measures speed and direction, and provides the positions when the GPS signal is lost. Trax alerts when it’s dropped or exceeds a certain speed.
Trax has a built in SIM-card with two years free data and free roaming in USA, Canada, Australia and 14 European countries (See picture above). Trax utilises all Satellite systems (GPS & Glonass) to ensure the best accuracy and coverage.
With your help we can put Trax into production as early as June 2013. As little as 500 advance orders will allow us to commence producing Trax, however, no pledge is too small, every £ is a step closer to realising our project and we appreciate any support or feedback.
What’s inside Trax?
Trax is built on components that have been thoroughly tested by our engineers to ensure Trax meets high quality standards. To be able to deliver the best possible communication Trax uses a GPRS QUAD band module and at a later stage a 3G module. The satellite antenna is compatible for both GPS and Glonass and is directly mounted and calibrated on a GPS/Glonass module.
The integrated SIM card is the smallest on the market and is mounted on the PCB, which saves up space, makes the card theft resistant and removes the need for a separate hatch.
Trax utilises movement sensors. It is using the very best Accelerometer/ Gyro combo on the market today. The Accelerometer improves battery management allowing Trax to use a smaller battery while delivering a really good up-time. Furthermore, we have customized the battery body to really use as much of the limited space as possible.
Our aim is to give our customers intuitive interfaces that are fun and easy to use. It starts directly when you open the box. A simple 1-2-3 connecting Trax to your App and you are ready to go.
We know that a map can be confusing so that’s why we have added Augmented Reality mode so you can ”point locate” Trax through the camera lens and see it on your Smartphone screen. Arrows on the screen tells you where to turn…It couldn't be any easier!
Relax, close your eyes, put the phone in a pocket…. and still have full control. Through the 4 different geo-fences the App alerts you as soon as your loved one has moved too far away from you, or into an area where they shouldn’t be. Geo-fences are very easy to set, see picture below:
The App also provides you with valuable information and alerts on battery level, exceeding a speed limit, the distance between you and your loved one, history footprints…or if someone is late for school.
The App also features social check-ins and you can customize your Trax Pin.
How to attach Trax
The most common way to carry Trax for children will be in a pocket, school bag, etc. It can be attached to clothing or a bag, using a clip or lanyard. One attachment will work as a clip where you place the holder on one side of thin clothing and then press down Trax from the other side (see picture above).
For your pets we have produced a custom fitted holder for pet collars. The holder has a collar loop with two different widths allowing you to adjust the size to fit your pet.
We are currently in the process of designing a “break away” necklace, a wristband and a pet collar with integrated Trax unit. We welcome any ideas from the Kickstarter community.
The first functional Prototype of Trax (1.01) was ready in May 2012. Trax 1.01 had basic GPS positions and positions were updated with time settings and updates were using SMS technology.
Trax prototype 2.01 is functional and is 58% smaller and 46% lighter than it predecessor. Technologically it’s more advanced with more components and a smarter set up. Position updates are based on Trax speed to give a Real Time experience. All outgoing updates/data are through secure data packages. It has two-way communication and you can make it buzz from your App. See “What’s inside Trax” above for further details.
Tests are still being conducted on Trax 2.01 with two different communication modules. The results of these tests will define the final component set up. The firmware is still quite basic and is being re-engineered. The positioning modules and antennas are defined with excellent results. The development of the algorithm for estimating positions when GPS signal is lost has not started, but will be developed in April 2013. We need you guys on Kickstarters support on this one.
Module Testing environment - In this picture our engineer is doing the final test on the communication module.
The Trax Project
Developing a product is not only about passion for the target group. It’s also about understanding them. How they play, how they move, their needs etc. During the past years we have not only lived with children and pets. We have also watched and studied them, plus researched on International studies.
The results confirmed our early beliefs that (1) small size and weight, (2) price and (3) Real Time experience are the key requirements.
It’s from observations and studies we have build the requirements for Trax.
How we addressed the challenges to meet the requirements and needs of parents, pet-owners and loved ones is described below.
Small Size and Low weight
Battery - The bulkiest part of part of a GPS-tracker is the battery. The challenge lies in getting down in mAh and still have full functionality for as long as possible. We addressed this challenge in two ways:
- Evaluated the most energy consuming components (GPS module and Communication module) and compared energy consumption vs. performance.
- Adjust settings in the energy consuming activities to energy saving features, such as isolated and non-isolated hibernation of components
Components- Trax has numerous components inside, and if we could save in size and weight on most of them it adds up quite a lot. We found some components that could be bundled into modules and share processor to save size, weight and energy consumption.
Finding the right Price is a challenge. We have balanced price against performance and quality all through the process. We think we found a good balance on price and performance and quality. But, the right price is a tricky one and we would appreciate the Kickstarter crowd feedback in this area.
Real Time experience
The majority of trackers on the market has either “time-set” positioning or “on request” positioning. We have from the beginning been trying to send position updates as often as possible to get a true Real Time experience. The challenge with positioning all the time is that every sent data package consumes both a lot of energy / battery and also data that bears a cost with it. This was a dead end for a while, but with the inclusion of the Accelerometer/Gyro module, we could define the speed on Trax and set updates on speed instead of time-set. This way Trax sends no updates if it’s not moving, and the faster it moves the more updates per minute it sends. That’s what we call Real Time experience. If Trax is not moving for 10 minutes it goes into Hibernation mode. And it jump starts once the accelerometer register a movement >5 meters. This saves a lot of battery life.
We have secured a cost efficient and high quality manufacturing and assembly plant in China. Moreover, we have a specialist facility for the manufacturing of the casing in Taiwan. The tailor-made battery will also be produced in Taiwan. We have engaged Johan Thelander, a Senior Quality Manager with several years experience of working smoothly between Sweden and Asia. However, we are currently investigating if it’s feasible to do part of the “pick and place” assembly as well as final assembly in Sweden.
Geography and languages
During 2013-2014 we will roll-out Trax in the following countries: USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. Instructions will be available in 10 languages and Trax will be pre-set with free data roaming for 2 years in all the above countries. You can even travel with Trax at no additional costs.
How long will the battery last?
2-4 days depending on usage
Will I have to sign up for a carrier subscription?
No, it’s included in the product.
Will there be additional costs?
Included in the price is 2 years free usage. After this period we will charge a small monthly fee.
How accurate is Trax?
Between 4-10 feet (1.5-3 meters)
In what way will Trax communicate?
Trax will communicate with push notices and with SMS as a back-up.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes, besides USA we will ship to Western Europe, Canada and Australia.
What languages will the App be available in?
During the first year we will release the App. in the following languages English, German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Spanish and Italian.
Where will Trax be accessible?
Mainly through retail but also through our own web shop.
Can I travel with Trax?
Yes, without additional cost or any changes, Trax can be used in 13 countries in Western Europe as well as USA.
* Remember that additional costs can be added from your operator if you use your mobile outside your country you live in.
How can Trax be so small?
With the help of smart technology Trax can manage the battery consumption, which means that we can use a smaller battery. Trax is also packed with the latest components that are all small in size.
How do I connect with Trax through my SmartPhone?
In the box there will be a code. After downloading the App. from AppStore or Google Play you write in the code and right away you are connected and can start using Trax.
What are GPS and Glonass?
GPS is a satellite system created by the US military but is today mostly used for civilian purposes. Glonass is the Russian version that has better reach in many locations. To be able to offer both will give superior coverage.
How can I attach Trax to my child or pet?
In the box you will find one clip that makes it possible to attach Trax anywhere on thin clothing, one lanyard that can, for example, be attached to a belt loop and down a pocket and there will also be a special created case for pet collars.
How do a charge Trax?
A micro USB cable is included in the box. Attach it to Trax and then you can charge it via your computer or using the adapter that came with your SmartPhone.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenges lie in the developing part of the project. Trax is a complex product and the components are the latest kind (some as late as February 2012). There are no tested open source firmware available yet and we need to develop and test the firmware ourselves. All components needs to work in harmony and not disturb each other.
Another potential risk lies within manufacturing and assembly. We have an ambition to provide Trax with the highest possible standards. Therefore, it is imperative that we can coordinate the different business cultures that might occur between western customers and Manufacturers in Taiwan and China. We have contracted a Senior Quality manager with years of experience in China and Taiwan, but even with strict controls and high presence, we respect this risk.
Currencies might fluctuate which could lead to higher costs on both assembly and on components.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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