Sunday, March 18, 2012

LightBug Solar GPS Tracker on Kickstarter

Just over a week ago a new project launched on Kickstarter that I wanted to talk about a little bit. Generally speaking, I tend to be a little wary of Kickstarter projects and I strongly recommend that all of my readers be the same. However, this particular project, called LightBug, has a lot of really fantastic possibilities should it receive the funding that the founders are looking for. At the very least, it is definitely worth a look.

LightBug is a GPS tracker which uses a combination of GPS, cellular towers and low range Bluetooth beacons to function both indoors and outdoors. It can track just about anything with the proper setup and the more I read about it, the more clever this little device is. But what really caught my attention is something that I can’t believe no one else has thought about: solar power.

Unlike other GPS devices, LightBug boasts a little solar panel on the top part of the device which is used to keep the battery charged, meaning that users won’t have to remember to remove it from whatever it’s supposed to be tracking in order to recharge. The developers say that it should work both indoors and outdoors, but I expect that outdoors will be far superior making this little beauty better for tracking pets, children and sports activities than, say your keys which tend to reside in dark places like a pocket or purse.

As far as actual GPS tracking abilities, the tracker does just about everything you’d expect from a tracker such as geofences, syncing with phones and control via an app. You can check out the Kickstarter for more specific and information on the project.

Chris and David Guest, a father/son duo that invented LightBug as well as several other GPS solutions are looking for £50,000 (about $78,000) to get the tooling on the case for the device and to make it affordable for customers. At the time of writing, the campaign is just at the halfway mark with more than two weeks left to go, so it’s looking pretty positive. All of the early bird promotions are gone, but customers can pledge £87 ($136) to get qualify for a LightBug tracker once the campaign finishes successfully.

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