GPS technology paves the way toward GPS vibrating navigation developments.
While GPS technology has gone through many new developments over the last decade, including helping with navigation, capturing criminals, and GPS tracking activity of in wild animals, there are still limitations for the vision and hearing impaired. Most GPS devices either let you hear alerts or see a map on the screen with the current location of whatever or whomever is being tracked. But for individuals who can’t hear or see, they are at a major disadvantage. That is until now.
Researchers are currently working on GPS systems that vibrate their alerts, as opposed to relying solely on sounds or pictures on a computer screen. They work by having disc-like motors, similar to those inside cell phones that allow the internal GPS function to vibrate its alerts and signals. It will instead be placed on the person’s skin, so that the current direction can help show the next way to go. The skin has more sensory receptors, which is helping lead the way to these new developments.
Wears would received pulses or vibrations that tell them where to turn. While this is a benefit for anyone, it is especially beneficial for those with visual or auditory impairments.
The Tactile GPS Navigation Devices
These new GPS navigation devices will be worn either around the wrist or on the back. Lynette Jones, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is at the head of these developments. When the trackers pick up on the next direction to go, it will either vibrate on the right or left side, to signal a turn.
Jones and her team are excited because it is helpful for a large group of people, including the visually and hearing impaired, and firefighters trying to navigate a dark building. Additionally, runners and bikers who can’t look at devices, will certainly find them useful.
Drivers will soon have distraction-free navigation through a new vibrating steering wheel.
The newest form of GPS technology is in the use of vibrations to help people use GPS navigation without having to look or see at the upcoming directions. For drivers, this causes distraction when they’re trying to pay attention to the road ahead. The screen on the GPS devices tends to be distracting, and the voice on the GPS device can be muffled and hard to hear.
However there may soon be a solution, as researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs are working on a vibrating GPS steering wheel. It uses the same basic navigation technology as cell phones and other GPS devices, but causes your steering wheel to vibrate, instead of your phone. That way, you literally don’t take your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road, in order to know where to turn next.
How it Works
The steering wheel will be connected wirelessly to a GPS computer that has 20 small motors to send the vibrations to the steering wheel, and the driver’s hands. These vibrations use a pattern method, so that they go counter clockwise for left turns, clockwise for right turns and go faster when they’re nearing an intersection. Researcher Kevin A. Li, feels that the drivers will soon get used to the vibrations and not even have to think about it. This technology is still in the planning stages, but a prototype is already entering the testing phase.
At Top Ten Reviews, we scours store shelves to find the best of the best when it comes to electronics. For GPS trackers, his means the PT-10 by LiveViewGPS. It tops the list as one of the best choices you can make with your money. The GPS’s accuracy, coupled with its built-in features and app support, make it an excellent choice for anyone searching for a GPS tracker for their children, pets or precious belongings.
The LiveViewGPS PT-10 was one of the most accurate GPS tracking devices that Top Ten Reviews tested. Many trackers can pinpoint a general area but have a hard time focusing in on exact locations. During tests, the LiveViewGPS PT-10 was always within three feet of where it claimed, making it an outstanding device for tracking whatever you need to find. Precise tracking eliminates errors and makes tracking both faster and easier, saving you precious moments when you need them most.
Fast, Frequent Updates
Along with accuracy, the LiveViewGPS PT-10 stood out in terms of location updating. Many devices update every few minutes or after considerable movement has taken place. In tests, the PT-10 updated more often than any of the other best GPS trackers tested by TopTenReviews, reporting back a new location every 10 seconds or every 20 feet it moved. When it comes to tracking your child or your stolen laptop, rapid updates can make a tremendous difference. In the time it takes for other trackers to send a location update, you could have moved away from your child rather than toward them. TopTenReviews loved how often the LiveViewGPS PT-10 provided updates on its location.
The need for customization is huge when it comes to GPS trackers. In the case of tracking children, you might not want to pinpoint your child’s location at all times but want to know if they decide to travel away from home. The LiveViewGPS PT-10 allows you to create a specific zone for the tracker, such as around our home or your city, and then receive an alert if the tracker heads out of that zone. This is a helpful feature that can help you keep track on your child without being too nosy. It’s also one that can make you aware of a dangerous situation, such as child abduction or a lost or wandering youngster, before your child has traveled too far away from home.
iOS and Android Apps
When it comes to monitoring your tracker, the LiveViewGPS PT-10 offers a number of convenient options. The tracker’s location can be viewed from your iOS or Android device, or from your computer’s desktop. The mobile app allows you to see your device’s current location, while the desktop app takes tracking a step further and allows you to see not only where the device is now but where it’s been. You can also create zones on the fly. For instance, if your child is supposed to be sick at home, you can create a zone around your house and see if she decides to sneak out midday to hang out with friends.
All in all, the PT-10 by LiveViewGPS is one of the best GPS trackers on the market today. TopTenReviews found it to be a “great personal asset tracker with impressive accuracy,” making it the ideal solution for making sure you always know your family or possessions are safe.
Progressive Insurance encourages good driving and offers discounts to customers that use GPS tracking devices on their vehicles.
Tracking programs by major insurance companies in the United States has been a long time coming, but many drivers were resistant to the idea of their driving and vehicles being tracked. Until now. Progressive Corp. has begun shipping devices enabled with GPS tracking technology to customers that volunteer to be tracked in exchange for discounts on their vehicle insurance. It is their way of rewarding and encouraging safe driving. They are also helpful because they are an anti-theft device, which insurance companies love.
These insurance programs are being called usage-based programs, or telematics, and more policyholders are coming around to the idea of being tracked. The GPS trackers will be placed in their vehicle and keep track of where they are located.
According to Progressive project management office leader Steven Broz, they began shipping to the devices to policyholders in April of this year. Months previous, it was Progressive employees that were testing the devices in their own vehicles.
Progressive, along with many other insurance companies, first began introducing this idea several years ago. At the time, customers were concerned about the invasion of privacy this entailed, as the trackers could tell where their vehicle was at all times. Times have changed and now that most people already have trackers on their phones, they seem more open to the idea of tracking their vehicle, especially with the benefit of paying a lower insurance premium for safe driving practices.
The Ohio-based insurance company is calling the program Snapshot and believes their customers are ready for the program. Many volunteers have agreed to have their vehicles tracked by the GPS-enabled devices. Right now, the devices are mainly tracking their vehicle’s location, but they are hoping through the continued testing phase, the technology can advance to truly seeing how their policyholders drive and offering more discounts for safe driving.
Other insurance companies are also jumping on the bandwagon, including Allstate, who previously released a new tracking app for mobile phones. The app is called Drivewise and looks at the driving habits of the policyholder and location, offering discounts for good driving habits.
More research is still being done by Progressive to look into updates for the program in the future. With customers being more comfortable sharing personal and private information, it is no surprise that they now have volunteers for this program. Not only will they get discounts, but insurance companies are hoping by being tracked, their policyholders are encouraged to drive safely while they are being tracked. This not only benefits them, but everyone else on the road at the same time. Their hope is that more people volunteer for the added benefits of the program.