We have already seen a number of ideas for tracking tags seeking funds on Kickstarter, most systems are limited by the range of Bluetooth communication with a smart device. This system from Iotera tackles the problem using cloud-based thinking: The basic wireless system consists of one or more tags or ‘iotas’ and a home base unit. Each 22 x 11 x 3 mm iota contains a GPS chip, accelerometer, temperature sensor, speaker, RF transceiver, Bluetooth (unused so far) and a battery to give up to three months operation. Each iota communicates with the home base unit using wireless channels in the 902 to 928 MHz band giving a range of up to four-miles. Back home, the base unit receives the low-speed transmissions from the iota tag and forwards the information to a server via a Wi-Fi connection.
The next time Buster jumps the fence you will be glad his collar is fitted with an iota tag; whenever he is within range of a base unit anywhere in the city (or further) his positional information can be passed to the cloud service. The installed base units effectively form an ad hoc network and provide coverage in much the same way as cell phone base-stations. Iotera plan to provide users with an API interface to create alerts based on overstepping geographical boundaries, temperature or movement for tracking valuables, pets and children. The company claim that coverage of a city the size of San Francisco could be achieved using just 10 base units.
The system is currently seeking FCC approval in the US for its radio spectrum usage. With 16 days to go its kickstarter campaign is already over half way to its $250,000 target.