GPS Snitch. Click image to enlarge
By Glen Konorowski
In one of my favourite James Bond movies, “Goldfinger,” Bond is given a tracking device that he attaches to the villain’s car and then tracks him throughout Europe. In 1964, when the movie was released, this kind of technology was pretty fantastic.
Well, now it is all here: you too can now track someone throughout North America from in front of your computer. A Canadian company hailing from Calgary, Alberta called Blackline makes the GPS Snitch tracking system for the Canadian/U.S. market.
About the size of a deck of cards, the Snitch is easy to hide or place in a vehicle, or the user can just carry it about in their pocket or purse. The Snitch works by way of GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) signals and using local cell phone networks. When you log on to the Blackline’s web site and ask the location of your Snitch, the main computer sends out a message through the cell phone network for the unit to turn on and locate itself. The Snitch then locates itself via the GPS system built into it and sends a message back to the main computer at Blackline via the cellular phone network. Blackline’s computer then plots it out on a map, which you view through the Internet.
Operating the Snitch is fairly straightforward and does not take a degree in physics. Once you remove it from the box, your unit will need to be charged up to operate. The instructions say to plug the 12-volt AC (comes with unit) adapter into your wall outlet for five to six hours for the unit to fully power itself up. This has to be done near a window so that the Snitch can locate satellite and communicate with the cellular phone system for proper operation.
When the unit is charged up, it is just a matter of turning it on and planting it in the vehicle of your choice. Unlike other GPS mapping systems that need a clear sightline to the sky, the Snitch does not. You can put the unit in a glovebox, trunk or in your pocket. For our first test we did just that, into a pocket. My son put the Snitch in his shirt pocket under his leather jacket, and went for a ride on his motorcycle.