Trimble introduced Wednesday a new version of its TrimTrac locator. Redesigned in a water-resistant housing, the new TrimTrac locator has an expanded feature set that includes on-demand polling, motion-based or scheduled reporting, and other enhanced query functions.
With its low cost, small size, new housing and features, the TrimTrac locator is a complete end-user device that allows location-based service providers and system integrators to provide personal vehicle monitoring services to a broader range of subscribers.
The new TrimTrac locator will be showcased at International CES, the world's largest consumer technology show. Trimble will be located in the Las Vegas Convention Center North Booth #5927.
The TrimTrac locator enables cost-effective automatic position reporting for personal vehicle monitoring, security and theft recovery. The device can also support select roadside assistance and concierge services with application server and call center capabilities provided by third-party service providers.
"The original TrimTrac locator, which was awarded the 2004 Frost & Sullivan "Best Bang for the Buck" for vehicle tracking, represents a tight integration of GPS and GSM technology which helps reduce size, power consumption and cost," said William Dussell, director of integrated products of Trimble's Component Technologies Division.
"Building upon the original product, we have significantly expanded the capabilities of the TrimTrac locator to address vehicle monitoring and security applications that had previously required expensive, high-end solutions."
Compact and Affordable
The new TrimTrac locator is a compact end-user device slightly larger than a white board eraser. It can operate on four AA alkaline batteries or be connected to vehicle power with an adapter module.
It is packaged in a new, durable, water-resistant housing that weighs only 7.2 ounces without batteries. Inside, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and tri-band Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) modem are integrated onto a single board and controlled by a common microprocessor.
This high level of integration enables the device's small footprint, low cost and enhanced functionality.
The TrimTrac locator can be placed almost anywhere inside a vehicle passenger compartment-in a glove box, under the rear window package shelf, or similar discrete location.
The device requires no external antennas or connections, unless the optional vehicle adapter module is used to connect to vehicle power. This flexibility greatly reduces or eliminates the need for expensive installations.
Broad Coverage with GPS and GSM Technology
The TrimTrac supports the three major GSM frequency bands: 900, 1800 MHz (DCS) worldwide and 1900 MHz (PCS) in the U.S. To optimize the TrimTrac locator's battery life and provide secure low-cost data transmission, periodic position and status reports are sent as SMS (short messaging service) text messages over the GSM network.
Motion-based reporting remains a TrimTrac locator hallmark. With its enhanced features, users can now poll the unit in real-time to request the device's current location on-demand or receive a regularly scheduled report. For instance, the unit can be configured to periodically log, but not report, its current position to minimize communication costs.
The user may also poll the device and it will compute a new position on-demand, or if there has been no motion since the last position was logged, the device will immediately return its most recently logged position. Alternately, the TrimTrac locator can be programmed to report on a regular daily or weekly schedule.
Vehicle Adapter Module
To eliminate the need to periodically change batteries, the TrimTrac locator can be connected to external power by using the optional Vehicle Adapter Module.
This plug-in module replaces the standard battery pack and operates off vehicle power for permanent installations. It includes a stand-by, rechargeable battery for continued position reporting if vehicle power is disconnected.
In the event of vehicle theft, where disconnecting the vehicle's main battery often silences car alarms, the TrimTrac locator provides an extra measure of protection by quickly sending a status message and continuing to report its position.
In addition, the Vehicle Adapter Module will allow the TrimTrac locator to monitor multiple external switch or contact closures and assign each one of three priority levels. For instance, TrimTrac can monitor other on-board systems and devices, such as car alarms and driver-operated switches, to report status and modify its operation.
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