GadgetTrak, an Oregon company, has expanded the range of GPS devices they can protect from theft. Or more accurately, help recover if they are stolen. Their system works when the thief, or someone he sells the stolen unit to, connects the device to a PC. The IP address, general location, computer name, user name, ISP and host name are relayed to you in an email. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee recovery. Here’s what GadgetTrak has to say about that:
"Currently the GadgetTheft.com service is available to provide you information only. We are not affiliated with any law enforcement agency, nor are we attorneys. We provide information that may assist in the recovery of the device. Also keep in mind that sometimes the device may have been sold to an innocent party, so the information sent to you may not always be the thief. The service is also not a replacement for insurance of the device, or reporting the device stolen to the authorities. We will however will assist you and law enforcment with the neccesary information to get your device back (sic)."
The following GPS units have been tested and are supported:
- Garmin nuvi 200, 250, 270, 350, 360, 370, 650, 660 and 670
- Garmin StreetPilot c550 and c580
- Garmin zumo 550
- Lowrance iWAY 500C
- Magellan Maestro 4040
- TomTom ONE
- TomTom GO 510 and 910
A free 30 day trial is available, allowing you to see that it works before paying. A one year subscription with a five-device license runs $19.95. All iPods and most other MP3 players are also supported, as are Sony PSPs and many digital cameras.
Of course this all assumes that someone gets a cable and connects the device to a computer. That’s much more likely for an iPod and less so for a camera or GPS. In the future, once our GPS receivers are all connected to a wireless network, I imagine it will result in some very effective anti-theft solutions.