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Education GPS Tracking solution

Discussion in 'General' started by samkiller42, 5 Nov 2018.

  1. samkiller42

    samkiller42 For i AM Cheesecake!!

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    Hi All,
    I'm looking for some advice to pass onto my Mum.
    Some back story:
    My grandparents both have Alzheimer's, So earlier in the year the decision was made to move them from their home of 28 years in the South of France, to a new home, with my Mum, who lives in a small village in Central France. Several months ago, they were involved in a car accident, driving south, 3 hours away from Mum's when their plan was to drive 20mins west to the local barbers. Their driving licenses have been revoked, limiting my grandparents to walking around the village. Everything has been fine, until last week, and Granddad went for a walk on his own, But went missing, and was eventually found by search teams 4 days later in a field, He's doing well and is currently in hospital, very thankfully.

    So my question is; We're looking for something that we can give to Granddad, in case he decides to go for another walk, we can locate him quickly. A mobile phone would be out of the question, He's 80, so wouldn't know how to use it, and signal in mums village is flaky at best. So i'm thinking more along the lines of a smart watch, as he does like to wear a watch.

    Any ideas and suggestions are welcome.

    Cheers,
    Sam
     
  2. maxlxyd

    maxlxyd Member

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    Have you thought about maybe buying him an apple watch (I know a bit on the expensive side) and connecting it to the same iCloud as you, so if he does go for a walk you can easily find him using the find iPhone app (it tracks apple watch aswell). I know you mentioned that the village doesn't have very good connection which is my only concern but its just a suggestion?
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Sounds like the Vodafone V-SOS band would be perfect, except...
    it relies on a mobile signal to work.

    Without a reliable mobile signal, you're going to have to think outside the box. One possibility, though it wouldn't be cheap, would be to deploy a The Things Network LoRaWAN gateway where it can cover the village, assuming it's not covered by an existing gateway, then build a LoRaWAN-connected GPS tracker that could be shoved in his pocket. Not quite so off-the-shelf, that, but without a reliable cellular connection there's no other way to track the device accurately.

    Your final option is an RF tracker, typically sold to track pets. They can't show you where the tracker is on a map, but instead rely on you wandering around waving the receiver and watching for the signal strength to increase. Plus side: absolutely no reliance on an external network. Down side: they only work up to a few hundred meters, so you could be driving around for a while until you pick up the signal.
     
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  4. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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  5. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  6. samkiller42

    samkiller42 For i AM Cheesecake!!

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    Thanks everyone for the input, My find was this kids Smart Watch, But i shall pass on the thread to mum, so she can make a decision.

    Sam
     
  7. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    They're great. My bro used one when he travelled across the outback in Australia a few years back. Him, a Land Cruiser with a tent on the roof, a whole massive load of fuel, and a Spot, just in case.
     
  8. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    I guess a potential issue is cost. €100-150 + €150-200 per year ain't cheap. That is going to be the case with all devices that don't rely on mobile networks to phone home though. 2 way Satellite communications is still expensive. (A smartwatch with a sim is going to have the same issues as a phone if mobile signal is patchy or non-existent.)

    Also maybe signal for location the Spot could not be ideal.
    I assume it just uses GPS for location, which off grid out in the wilds might be fine.
    However in built up areas and other places where a clear sky view isn't a given the assisted (A-)GPS you get in phones that use network and wifi signal to help with location can be substantially more reliable.
     
  9. samkiller42

    samkiller42 For i AM Cheesecake!!

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    Mums village is mostly surrounded by open fields, and dense woods, Strangely i can get 4G most of the time, yet move a few feet in any direction, it drops to G/Edge and simply nothing, and that's in her garden, and i have better signal closer to the house than i do away from it, which is again strange, it's more elevated (Slopped garden, house at the bottom of the slope)

    Cheers,
    Sam
     
  10. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    Even with poor/intermittent Cell Signal, the A-GPS in a phone/smartwatch may be able to give a quick location, since it uses availability and strength of Cell and WiFi signals (even unconnected) to roughly locate first, while waiting for other indicators.
    Worth a try to turn on maps, have a walk about when you are there next time, perhaps?

    Not sure how well that works with a service like Find my iPhone, but could be worth a test.
     
  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It doesn't matter how quickly the device gets a location fix if it has no way of communicating its location to a third party. No mobile signal, no communications - the tracked individual can know his location within a few centimetres, but the people trying to find him will have no idea.
     
  12. lilgoth89

    lilgoth89 Captin Calliope

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    i saw a pair of shoes designed for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder ( who are prone to wander) a few years ago at an event, they are also apparently for people with Alzheimers and Dementia

    They have a built in GPS tracker, all you had to do was log into a secured system and it would tell you where the shoe is ( with hopefully the person wearing it attached ) they were also looking into Medical Bracelets and Pendant tags with the same tracking system inside

    Cant remember if they made it to market with a finished product, but things like that might be worth looking into

    http://gpssmartsole.com/gpssmartsole/

    Found it

    https://www.alzheimers.net/8-8-14-location-devices-dementia/
    some more on this page
     
  13. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Same problem as the V-SOS, sadly: relies wholly on the mobile network for communicating its location (and also costs $29.95 a month for the privilege, compared to £4 a month for the V-SOS). Neat form-factor, though - not seen that before!
     
    Last edited: 6 Nov 2018
  14. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    Good point, that.
    And without permanent movement logging, that's pointless then...
     
  15. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    This is another option: the goTenna Mesh, which creates a point-to-point mesh network for text messaging and GPS location. Not sure how easy it would be to set it up to be senior-suitable, though, and I'm also not sure what kind of range you get out of two of 'em. Also, they're £200.

    EDIT: Three miles line-of-sight, one mile in a built-up area. It automatically uses other goTenna Mesh devices to increase that - 'cos, y'know, it's a mesh - but they're not exactly common so the chances of there being others in your village are minimal.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2018
  16. Sentinel-R1

    Sentinel-R1 Chaircrew

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    goTenna Mesh - sounds like an ill-conceived female bladder weakness product.
     
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  17. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    I still reckon Spot is your best bet, even with the cost!
     
  18. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    https://secure.thetrackr.com/ is a low cost option with some of the obvious limitations (no GPS). It's more for when you lose your cars keys or wallet, not an actual human. Wider adoption is the key to the success of Crowd Locate.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2018
  19. play_boy_2000

    play_boy_2000 It was funny when I was 12

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    I was wandering down a youtube rabbit hole a while back and a video for these guys came up: https://www.trackersecurity.co.uk/ . It's designed for theft recovery, but it can use even the scantest of cell signal to report locations, and if it's put into alarm mode it has a radio beacon.
     
  20. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    Have you contacted an Alzheimer's or dementia support group? They may have suggestions or even offer discounts for priducts.
     

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