GPS control for personal use (Part 4. System overview)

    In this part of the article, two Life360 and Glympse systems are presented .

    The previous sections discussed:

    Part 1: General considerations on the use of GPS monitoring systems for personal monitoring.
    Part 2: The systems WHERE MY, GPSHome, and GPS-Trace Orange were reviewed .
    Part 3: The Live GPS Tracking and M2M »

    I could not find in the European and American markets systems similar to those discussed in the previous parts. Of course, there are similar systems, but: either they do not provide free access, or they have significantly poorer functionality compared to the ones considered above.

    The systems discussed here are oriented and provide maximum efficiency when working with them on smartphones.

    Family Locator (USA)

    The company was founded in San Francisco (California) in 2009.

    Free applications are available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

    The application downloads on Google Play from 10 to 50 million. The

    application has a Russian interface.

    The system can be used to monitor the safety of family members and loved ones.

    Limitations of the free version : you can create 2 geofences (“Places”); Movement history is available only for the last 3 days (in the paid version - for 30 days); there are no functions for locating non-smartphones and searching for lost (stolen) smartphones (in the paid version, these features are available for the USA and Canada for certain AT&T, Verizon, TMobile and Sprint providers).

    Useful features of the system

    • Cartography: Google.
    • In the settings, in the map parameters, you can specify the display of local services: hospitals, fire stations, police stations, which will be visible in the immediate vicinity of the application user.
    • In the map parameters, you can set the flag for displaying sexual crimes for locations on the map, and also show crimes for certain time intervals (from one week to one year). This feature does not work for all geographic regions.
    • A convenient way has been developed to stay in touch with important people in separate closed groups (“Circles”). You can create separate groups: for children, workmates, friends and others. One account can be part of one or more groups. The account owner can create new groups.
    • Only group administrators can invite new people to groups, create and edit geofences in groups, and remove members from the group. The account owner can designate additional administrators from among other users in the group.
    • The account owner can fill out his profile (which may be required in emergency situations), indicating in it information about his health condition, allergies, blood type and other information.
    • A convenient tool for creating and editing geofences (“Places”) has been developed. For the geofence, the center and radius of the circle are specified. Zones are created and attached to the current group.
    • For the created or edited zone, the address of its center is always determined and displayed.
    • The list (for each geofence) shows: which of the members of the selected group are in this geofence.
    • For group members and the selected geofence, you can set the need for notifications about the entrances and / or exits from it.
    • Information about the registration of the current location occurs at predetermined time intervals. The account owner can manually make a note about his current location (“CheckIn”), the information goes to all members of the group. Group members may request other members to register their current location.
    • You can configure the transmission of notifications by e-mail, through the application or via SMS channels.
    • You can request the transmission of crime notifications in the vicinity of your current location.
    • Notifications from the list are removed by “swiping” it on the screen to the right.
    • You can display the participant’s movement log for a specific day in a given time interval.
    • An alarm is sent to the group members. To prevent sending messages by accidentally pressing the SOS button for 10 seconds. You can cancel sending this signal.
    • The system has built-in group chat. As a recipient, you can select a specific member of the group or send a message to everyone.

    Glympse (USA)

    The company was founded on February 22, 2008. The main office is located in Seattle (Washington).

    Free applications designed for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

    Application downloads on Google Play from 1 to 5 million. The

    application has a Russian interface.

    The system can be used for a simple and safe way to share your location in real time with family and friends.

    There are no restrictions on free use.

    The company has developed and provides an SDK that allows you to quickly and easily add Glympse features to existing iOS and Android applications. Great descriptions, tutorials, and instructions are available for all supported platforms.

    Recently, the company has been actively cooperating with major car manufacturers and suppliers of navigation services to integrate its developments into joint products.

    Useful features of the system

    • Cartography: Google; road traffic (Google).
    • The application does not require registration. Just install it on your smartphone.
    • To transfer your location, a special link to the website is generated (registration for access to this link is not required).
    • Information about the current location of the link creator is displayed in real time.
    • The link can be sent to anyone by SMS, email or using any other service installed on your smartphone.
    • You can configure the time interval during which the link is valid.
    • The sender can indicate the final destination of his route on the map.
    • Access to the link can be terminated (temporarily or completely) by the sender at any time.
    • Access to the link may be automatically terminated upon reaching the final destination of the route.
    • You can set the option to transmit data about the speed of movement.
    • You can set the battery saving mode - location data is transmitted only when someone is following the movement.
    • Good integration with social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Evernote). As a recipient, you can set your account on the social network.
    • You can see those Glympse users who are watching your current move.
    • There is a special mode that facilitates working with the application while driving.
    • You can request information about the current location of users (via the address book of the smartphone) who have the Glympse application installed.
    • You can create open groups. Everyone who knows the name of the group can follow the objects that publish information about their location in this group.

    In the final part of the article I will talk about our ViaLatM system and announce our new personal monitoring application for Android smartphones.

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