In 2014 there were over 90,000 bike thefts registered with the police in the UK. With stolen bikes often being broken up for parts, the chances of being reunited with your cherished steed are low.
This could change with the release of Oxford Products’ new GPS Tracker. The tracker is a sealed cylindrical unit which combines an accelerometer to detect movement, a GPS device to identify location and a GSM mobile transmitter to send out its location.
The device is 25mm in diameter, 202mm long and weighs 136 grams, so can be concealed anywhere on a movable asset such as a bike. It should fit in most seat tubes, although it won’t work in a metal frame as this will suppress the signal. Oxford claims a battery life of up to ten years from the non-replaceable battery.
The default operation is for the device to sleep until it detects that it has moved. Once movement is detected it will transmit its new position over the mobile network, then go back into sleep mode. Since it is not transmitting continually, it is difficult for a potential thief to detect its presence.
The tracker can be parameterised so that, for example, it only transmits when it has moved a certain distance, then transmits every five minutes until it ceases to move. It can also be set to transmit only once it has moved out of a certain area. If the tracked bike is recorded as stolen, even if the tracker’s parameters are set up to transmit less frequently, it can be awoken so that it transmits its location every five minutes.
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The location information can be viewed on Google maps on your phone or using the Dantracker website on a computer or tablet.
The tracker costs £200, whilst a subscription to the tracking service can be bought for one to five years for £60 to £180. Although not cheap, this is likely to be a small fraction of the cost of replacing a stolen bike.
For more details visit the Oxford Products website.