Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy and Safe Holidays!

We all here at GPS Connect wish you a Safe and Happy Holidays and hope to see you again next year! We are happy to announce that we have extended our special holiday offer, so you still have got time until January 31, 2009 to receive your month of free service!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Last Day for the Regular Delivery before Christmas

If you wanted your GPS tracking device to be delivered by a Regular Parcel delivery method and arrive before Christmas today is the last day. Starting Monday only Priority Courier delivery will make it before Christmas. For more information please consult with Canada Post delivery schedule. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

GPS Connect starts the Holiday season

It is time to give gifts. And what is a better gift then a gift of peace of mind especially when it is for the entire family?

But it gets even better when you purchase one of our GPS tracking devices with an instant discount of $60 and activate it before December 31, 2008 you receive one month of service for free.

So, isn't it the Best time to get connected? Don't wait, visit GPS Connect now and have your gift of peace of mind.

Monday, November 10, 2008

GPS Connect Got Satisfaction

In order to streamline and encourage conversations with our customers we have created GPS Connect's Get Satisfaction forum. This is a really great tool and we are very excited about starting using it for communicating with the customers.

First thing we've done was moving our FAQ list to Get Satisfaction. We are also preparing a new support page on gpsconnect.ca using Get Satisfaction widgets and it will be published very soon.

Meanwhile we encourage everybody to visit GPS Connect's Get Satisfaction forum and start asking questions, sharing ideas, report problems or giving praise (of course!).

Basic Real-time monitoring

Real-time monitoring page allows you to see the list of all your GPS tracking devices and their current locations on the map of your choice and related information in real time. You can also request current location for any of your GPS locators and turn on continuous monitoring. Below is the detailed guidance for working with Real-time monitoring page.

Page layout overview

Let's get familiar with the basic layout of the Real-time monitoring page. You can see major areas on the page screen shot:

  1. Main menu allows you to navigate between Web tracking application's pages. You are on the Real-time Map page now.

  2. Continuous monitoring control area. You can turn on continuous monitoring by checking the Refresh check box and selecting a required monitoring interval from the drop-down list.

  3. The list of your tracking devices allows you to see the current status and control the trackers visibility on the map. We'll talk more about working with the locator's list a bit later.

  4. The map area where you can see all your selected tracking devices. Switch map zoom and view and pan to the most convenient place to achieve the best visibility of your devices.

  5. Your GPS locators are shown on the map as object icons. You can configure a different icon for every tracking device of yours on the Locators page.

  6. When you hover a Locator icon with a mouse cursor a pop-up message appears on the screen showing the latest information available about the Locator: speed of movement and the time stamp of when information was received.

  7. You can select what map to use from the drop-down list of the available maps in the main menu area. Simply click on the map name you would like to use and the page will be refreshed and show you the map you've selected.

  8. When you have finished your session click on Exit to leave the Web tracking application and go back to your GPS Connect account where you can log out.

Controlling locators

Use a Locator list on the left side of the map (#2, #3 from the section above) to control the view of the locators on the map and turn on/off continuous monitoring (auto refresh). The picture below explains what different elements of the Locator list are for.

Monday, September 29, 2008

GPS Connect for sports enthusiasts

If you feel like hiking, jogging or cycling it'll be even more fun if you can share your routes with your friends and relatives. If you are planning a longer tour to a distant location it also makes sense to let someone know where are you now just in case. All this and everything else is possible now with GPSConnect's GPS location tracking services.

"The S-911 Personal Locator was the perfect GPS device for my cycling tour from Mississauga, ON to St. John's, NFLD. It was small, light-weight and easy to use. Family and friends were easily able to track my progress, daily distance, average speed and location. Everyone I talked to said how much fun they had tracking me on the web and that it made them feel like they were right there with me!"

Zain R.
Mississauga, Canada

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New S-911 Personal Locator Released

GPS Connect announces that long awaited S-911 Personal Locator V3 has been released and is available for purchasing from GPSConnect.ca.

New S-911 has been significantly improved in the following three areas:

  • connectivity: the new V3 is now quad band and can work seamlessly in North America as well as in Europe;

  • SOS notification: based on customers' feedback the digital pre-recorded voice alert feature has been removed and now a SOS button sends an audio-visual alert to the Location Tracking server and a back-up e-mail to a pre-assigned e-mail address. Also a combination of SOS + Shift buttons will initiate a two way voice communication to the pre-programmed SOS number;

  • power management and battery life: a new power save mode feature has been introduced that can disable the GPS receiver when device has not moved for a specified duration of time. If the locator moves again it will sense the movement with help of a new built-in motion sensor and reconnect.

GPS Connect launches new Web Location Tracking application

For the last few months we've been working hard on improving GPS Connect's web location tracking application based on your, our fellow trackers, feedback. Web location tracking application is in the heart of GPS Connect location service and it is a big deal for us to provide our users with the industry best web location tracking experience. So you've spoken, we've listened and finally it's here. Ta-da!

The new web location tracking app has improved significantly in the following areas:

1. User interface and usability

The new user interface is cleaner, faster, much more intuitive and usable. Both real-time and historical maps now can display multiple tracking devices simultaneously. The entire web application is fully cross-browser compatible. We now fully support all major browsers: IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and even newly announced Chrome.

2. Mapping functionality

Traditionally user interface appears in one of two main tracking modes: real-time tracking or historical trails exploring. Both modes allow viewing all your tracking devices (a.k.a GPS locators) on the same map with easy navigation, searching and zooming/panning interface, selecting a preferred map engine, customizing visual characteristics for each tracker i.e. trail color and icon, managing visibility of route trails, way points and events. For each way point speed, mileage, heading and time stamp are displayed. Time stamp is automatically converted to a viewer local time.

A key real-time mode tool is an automatic refresh feature that allows setting a timer to automatically retrieve the latest location data for selected locators and update their positions on the map. You can toggle visibility of locators' trails and event notifications or lock a map viewing are onto a selected locator for constant monitoring. Communicate with a tracking device in a real-time by requesting its current status even if it's configured not to report automatically.

A historical mode allows viewing previously recorded routes for the selected GPS locators during the entered period of time. Set the desired time window selecting date and time of the day and view multiple routes of the selected tracking devices on the same map easily zooming/panning the routes and toggling way points and event markers visibility.

3. Security and data safety

Security and privacy of our customers' information have always been our major priority so we have triple checked and tightened all the points once again and made sure that all your data is absolutely safe.

When you are on our web site you must be logged in to access your information and use the web tracking application and all traffic goes through the SSL encrypted connection.

We fully support SSL encryption for Virtual Earth map engine however Google Maps has certain limitations and you may see a browser security warning that some information is not encrypted when you use Google Maps as a map engine. That warning does not concern your personal data; only Google Maps related data such as map tiles is transmitted unencrypted. We monitor Google Maps development status continuously and as soon as it starts supporting SSL we will add it immediately.

4. Constant Development

In today's hectic pace software and hardware technologies are changing constantly and with that understood we have made a commitment to stay on top of the corresponding technologies and provide our customers with the most modern and usable products and services by constantly developing our systems based on your, our customers, feedback.

We consider developing in three major directions: map engines support; tracking device support and new features addition. We have redesigned our tracking platform sufficiently to make it much easier and faster to evolve in all three directions so speak up and be heard.

For mapping engines we currently support Virtual Earth and Google Maps but as other maps are evolving and gain more popularity (Yahoo maps, MapQuest, etc.) we'll be ready to include them as soon as you tell us. And of course, for the supported maps we always use the most recent versions and features.

For tracking devices we currently support Laipac protocol based devices only, but we've already started integrating Enfora devices based on users feedback and we are willing to hear your other suggestions too.

In regards to the new functionality we'll be adding a lot of new exciting features soon so don't miss your chance to tell us what you need in addition to standard real-time tracking and historical maps. Feel free to let your imagination fly as high as possible.

We will be updating our GPS Connect Tour articles about all new features so stay tuned.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GPS Connect for Alzheimer’s patients

While the Alzheimer’s disease is associated with many kinds of troubles there is one particular concern regarding tendency of individuals with Alzheimer’s to easily wander off and become lost.

According to the statistics "wandering is present in 60% of the persons stricken by Alzheimer's disease.This is a significant problem requiring careful monitoring. 26% of institutionalized individuals and suffering from Alzheimer's disease would run away weekly. Alzheimer's patients have only a 48% chance of survival if not found within 24 hours."

While the entire medical industry constantly works on finding new therapies, drugs, and possible cures there is a real help available to deal with the wandering problem now: GPS location tracking.

Besides tracking cars, trucks and assets for business it is also possible to track people. With GPSConnect's S-911 Personal locator keeping tabs on someone in need in a non-invasive and helpful manner has become really easy.

Equip your Alzheimer’s patient with the Personal locator and some of the additional accessories and you’ll be able to follow the trail that your loved one took while wandering about and also find their current location and notify the authorities to help you in your search if needed.

And with GPSConnect's service plans starting from just $19.95 monthly it is certainly a small amount to keep those whom you care about safe.

Here is what one Alzheimer’s caregiver said: "The S-911 Personal Locator has done wonders for an Alzheimer’s patient and is definitely a highly recommended product!"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

S-911 Personal Locator in action

We never really think about potential danger when we consider using some "prevention" technologies, products or services. And to be honest they better not to be used at all. Unfortunately things happen. Things like kidnapping and missing people.

Luckily we've got GPS location tracking as one of the "prevention" methods. And here goes one of the most popular personal tracking devices that GPS Connect offers: S-911 Personal locator.

Just watch this video on Youtube. Can't tell though whether it was for real or a drill. Once again it's better been a drill.

GSP Connect on Live.com

GPS Connect has appeared on Live.com. We would like to move closer to our fellow trackers and stay connected. So we created our Live.com profile and invite you to visit us there, become friends and tell us what you think. We would also like to here back from you: write in our guest book, post your comments in our blog or send us a message. See you there...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

GPS Connect on Facebook

Now GPS Connect has its very own page on Facebook. If you are a Facebook user we invite you to visit us there, become our fan and share our page with your friends. We would also like to here back from you: post your photos, write something on our wall or start a discussion. See you there...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Learn your teenager driving habits

If you are a parent of a teen driver you have for sure asked yourself many times at least one of these questions:

Where is my daughter or son now? How fast is she or he driving? Where has she or he been and for how long?

Of course all those questions are not just because you are curious but because you worry and care and becaues you do know how dangerous roads can be for non-experienced drivers.

Well, GPSConnect.ca can give you a bit more piece of mind by allowing you to track your teen ones or your cars. Simply give your folks one of our personal locators or install a vehicle locator on your car and be prepared whenever one of those questions pops up in your mind.

Connect. Locate. Stay within reach with GPSConnect.ca

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What is "price with financing"?

If you see "available with financing" price tag besides a tracking device name that means you may purchase it with a lower upfront payment (as opposed to a full upfront price). The rest is being payed by equal installments on monthly basis during a year with no interest. So basically it works as 0% financing. Opting for a price with financing assumes that you will be using GPS Connect service for at least 12 more month. If you cancel your GPS service earlier you will be required to pay what's left unpaid of the financed portion of the full device price upon cancellation. There are no additional charges added to a product price if you choose a price with financing.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A GPSConnect Tour. Part 1: Get Started

A main design goal of GPSConnect.ca GPS location tracking service has been simplicity: we believe everyone should be able to use the site with almost no additional help other than what you see on each page.

Taking that course, we’d like to introduce a "GPS Connect Tour" page that we hope will guide you through key features of GPS Connect as well as show you the shortest way to become a GPS Connect fellow tracker.

Please take a look and let us know how we can make GPS Connect better. Like the service itself, we’ll be improving the tour along the way.

Meanwhile, let's get going. Here's the main page, the first one you see when you first come to GPSConnect.ca.

There are four main areas on the page: top right utility corner (1), greenish main navigation menu in the middle (2), main content area (3) and a grayish footer at the bottom (4). We suggest you memorize that layout because it will be the same on every single page.

The utility area in the top right corner contains a Log in/Log out link, a link to a Shopping cart that shows how many items you have in your cart and additional links that might be of particular interest in your current GPSConnect.ca context.

The main navigation menu depends on whether you are logged in. For new visitors it shows some links that we invite you to examine to better understand what GPSConnect.ca is, how it works, what products and services we offer and why GPSConnect.ca should interest you.

The last topic is a subject of the why GPS Connect page.

We encourage you to learn how GPSConnect.ca can help you improve your personal and family safety, increase your business efficiency, empower your professional security arsenal or stay connected while on the road. Simply click on one of the red "learn more" buttons in the main content area and it will redirect you to a corresponding article.

Now when you know your reasons for using GPSConnect.ca it's time to learn how to get connected. We have prepared a separate page for you that explains in plain language how to get started with GPSConnect.ca in three easy steps.

Let's start from choosing your GPS tracking device: we call them GPS locators and they come in various flavors. You can start from the GPS locators introductory page or jump right to a product catalog page. Let's take a look at the catalog category page.

On the left side of the main content there is a list of product catalog categories (1). Click on any of the categories to be redirected to a corresponding category page and explore products in that category.

In the middle of the page you see a list of products that belong to a selected category. There is some information about those products: a picture, regular price and a short description (2). If you want to learn more about a particular product click on a "see details" link (4) on the right and you'll be taken to the product page. When you know exactly which product you want click on a "add to cart" link (3) on the right to purchase a product.

Now let's visit a product page. This is one the most informative pages of the product catalog. The main design goal of a product page has been the best shopping experience: we believe that you should be able to learn almost everything about a product from this page to be able to make an informed decision whether you want to purchase it. Let's see what you can learn on this page.

On the left side there is a product picture (1). You can click on it to see an enlarged product picture. To the right of the picture there is information about product prices and available service plans (2). Check out if there are lower term prices available for the product. On the right side of the page there is a list of some available satellite products (3) from our catalog that is accessories. Below there are tabs with extended product information (4). Feel free to learn about the product as much as you need. And at the very bottom there is a list of similar products (5) that you might prefer let's say because of the color or additional options. You may also want to check out other products in the same category (6).

What you can do on the product page is:

  • add a product to the shopping cart by clicking on a bright "add to cart" button (7) in the top right corner;
  • send a link to this page to your friend by clicking on "send to friend" link (8) below the product image;
  • share this page on social bookmarking or community sites by hovering a "share" button (9) below the product image;
  • add to cart related products by clicking on corresponding "add to cart" link (10).
Navigation tips. From the product page you can go to any of the related products' pages and you may also wnat to use a navigational breadcrumb trail right below the main navigation menu (11).

Here is all for starter. Check out more GPSConnect Tour posts.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

GPS Connect Tour. Part 2: Get Your Own Locator

Now we assume that you are comfortable with GPSConnect.ca product catalog and you have decided how you want to get connected, that is what GPS location tracking device you want to get for yourself or for your folks.
Let's start from adding a selected GPS locator to a shopping cart. First click on any "add to cart" button on either category page or product page. You will be redirected to the "Add to Cart" page.

On this page you'll need to select a term price (1), then choose a service plan (2), next add all the features you want (3) and accessories that you like (4). For your convenience we've added descriptions for every option listed on the page. Just hover a cursor over a decorated option name and read in a pop-up window (5). Once again we want you to make an informed decision. And eventually click on "add to cart" button in the right bottom corner again (6) and you will be redirected to a Shopping Cart page.

Here you can change quantity of the products you've selected: click on a text box with a quantity number inside (1) and enter a new number using your keyboard and press a "Tab" or "Enter" button on the keyboard. You can remove a product from the Shopping cart by clicking on a "remove" button (2). You can continue shopping (3) or go to Checkout (4). Also you can examine what's included in a monthly payment for your tracking device (5).

Now if you've got everything you needed in your shopping cart it's time to check out. Before you can check out you need to log in. If you are not logged in yet you will be redirected to a Login page.

Enter you login name (1), password (2) and click on "log in" button (3). If you have forgotten your password use "reset password" link (5). If you don't have an account yet please register first by clicking on "register" link (4).

Registration is a straight forward three-step process. After you clicked on "register" first you enter some personal information: first (1) and last (2) names are required, everything else is optional; then click "next" button (4).

At the second step you look up your address. We want to avoid dealing with wrong addresses especially when we ship you a GPS locator that is why we have implemented a semi-automated look-up process.

You start from entering your postal code (1) and clicking "look up" button (2). All other address fields will be prepopulated for you if the postal code is correct and you'll only need to enter your street number (3) and unit number if exists (4) and click on the "next" button (5). The address you entered will be used as your shipping and billing address. For the time being we only support customers residing in Canada and we do not support different shipping and billing addresses so please enter your correct address. You can always change your address later on if needed.

And the third step of the registration involves choosing your login name and requires your e-mail address which will be your main way to communicate with GPSConnect.ca:

Enter your desired login name (1), your e-mail address (the real one, please) (2), check that you accept GPSConnect.ca Terms and click on "create account" button (4).

Now check your mailbox where we have send your system generated temporary password and go and try to log in.

Now you are finally logged in. If this is your first time and you've just created an account you need to go to the shopping cart page (remember the blueish top right utility corner?) and click on "check out" button.

On checkout page please verify the list of the product (1) and your shipping/billing address (2); then select a shipping method from the drop-down list on the right (3) and check out the total cost of purchase (4); next select a credit card type from the drop-down list in a blueish area (5) and enter your credit card number (6), card expiration date (7) and a card validation number from the back of your card (8). Now place the order by clicking on "place order" button (9).

We'll try to charge your credit card and if a transaction is successful you will be redirected to an order details page that also works as the order receipt.

On the order details page (note, that information on the picture has been purposely distorted) you can see the order status (1), shipping address (2), payment transaction information (3) and the products list (4). You can print this page by clicking on a "print" button (5) in the right top corner. When the order is shipped you will be sent a confirmation e-mail with a shipping tracking number and a shipping information section will appear on the order details page.

So congratulation with your first purchase of a GPS tracking device! Learn more in other GPSConnect Tour posts and don't forget to leave your comments.

About GPSConnect Blog

This is a companion to the GPSConnect.ca GPS location tracking service. We publish news and useful information and discuss how to make GPSConnect.ca location service more usable, more convenient and generally just better for you, our fellow trackers. Please feel free to leave your comments.