By Greg Bartlett
Real time GPS tracking devices have several advantages over passive trackers. One is that you can see the data anytime. With passive systems, you have to retrieve the unit and then download the information that it has gathered onto your computer. Real time tracking devices also can be used for longer periods of time without needing to be recharged, because they send out signals instead of storing the information on the unit. Passive devices have a limited amount of storage space and will start to write over themselves when that space has been filled. But one major advantage to real time tracking devices is the geo-fencing feature.
Geo-fencing, or geographic fencing, limits the travel of the item you are tracking. Using this feature, you can place a boundary and receive text message or email notifications when the item being tracked crosses that line. This works in two ways. You can use geo-fencing to make sure someone stays out of a certain area, or to make sure that someone stays in a certain area.
Geo-fencing is very useful for businesses. Companies with commercial fleets can make sure that their drivers stay out of off-limits areas. This can also be useful for businesses with sales representatives that make visits. The geo-fencing feature could be set for a certain service area to ensure that the employee is not straying from his or her assigned task. This feature can also be used to make sure that employees stay in section that is assigned to them personally so the employees do not overlap areas and waste time.
Geo-fencing also works well for personal use. Parents can keep their teenage driver in an assigned area close to their home to make sure that they are not going on road trips or driving in unfamiliar areas. Those with memory problems or small children can also be tracked to make sure that they do not wander off. This geo-fence area could be made into a very small circle around the home or neighborhood to keep close tabs on the person.
Geo-fencing can also be used to notify you if your vehicle is stolen. Although it would not notify you until your vehicle left the predetermined location, it may still bring the theft to your attention before you discovered it yourself.
This function is very useful for those with real time tracking devices, but if geo-fencing is not needed, the feature can be turned off. It can also be reconfigured at any time.