GPS tracking sticks are extremely small and portable GPS tracking devices. They resemble a USB memory sticks in appearance and generally have a male USB connection built into the device. These devices are data loggers, meaning that they passively record their GPS coordinates at set intervals and store the data on the device’s memory. In order for the owner of the device to be able to access this information they need to recover the tracking stick and download its contents onto their computer.
As I am sure you have already inferred, these devices are made for certain types of GPS tracking. These devices excel at helping you know where someone or something has been and are very good at being concealed discretely because of their size. It works great for a runner who wants to accurately measure their daily runs and cannot afford a more expensive GPS running watch. Parents can use it to track a child or a teenager to make sure they have been where they say they have been. These devices can also be used by different type of R/C hobbyists who would like to know things like the height traveled by a rocket or plane, or the distance traveled by their car or boat. This device can even be used by employers to make sure that employees are making appropriate use of company property.
In essences, these work great for tracking anything that you don’t need to know its position right away. If you can track it and then get it later, a GPS tracking stick can be a cheap alternative.
But these sticks are certainly not going to be very useful in some types of tracking applications. Here is a quick list of some of the types of tracking this device is NOT really that good for:
- GPS fleet tracking – Fleets need to have real time information on the location of their fleet if they are going to be able to route vehicles and monitor their activity efficiently. Getting all the data after the fact is not going to provide the performance that a business in this situation is going to require.
- Friend tracking – There are a lot of friend tracking application for the cell phone, many of them free, but you can’t run any of them on a GPS tracking stick. You are certainly able to tell where a friend has been with one of these devices. This, however, does not help you when you want to see which one of your friends is at the same mall as you or if they are at the same party.
- Teen driver tracking (in some applications) – Some parents are going to want to be able to check on the status of their teen in real time. A tracking stick will not let you do this. It will help you monitor your teen while they drive the car and give you the tools you need to enforce your family driving rules – you just can’t do it in real time.
- Real time spouse tracking – If you are interested in following your cheating spouse to the scene of the cheat then you don’t want to use a tracking stick. GPS tracking cell phones would work great in this application, just not tracking sticks.
- Property recovery GPS – If you want to recover stolen property then a data logger is definitely not the GPS tracking device that you want to go with. While the property is in the hands of the thief there is no way for you to access the GPS information being gathered by the device – making it useless as a property recovery GPS.
As you can see, GPS tracking sticks are useful and powerful data loggers and should not be used for real time tracking. As far as GPS tracking devices go, tracking sticks are among the smallest and most easily concealed of all the trackers. They take up just a few inches and could easily be mistaken for a USB memory stick if they were to be “discovered” while being employed as a covert tracking device. If you don’t need immediate access to your tracking data and need a small device that will get you solid GPS data then a GPS tracking stick is certainly going to meet your needs.