At a Glance
What they wanted to do:
- Build mobile GPS solutions that offered simple user interfaces to track devices and people
What they did:
- Created a 24/7 monitoring portal to track GTX-enabled devices
What they accomplished:
- Built a profitable subscription model using Google’s affordable mapping tools
"Google Maps enabled us to deliver a solution that the average consumer can use right away, without difficulty."
Eric Stalnaker, GTX Corp. director of business development
About Google Maps API
Google Maps API makes it easy for companies to include fully interactive Google Maps on their public and internal websites. The Maps API helps your customers and employees make the right business and purchasing decisions by visualizing important information on a familiar map.
For more information, visit https://enterprise.google.com/maps
"Our developers noted that it was very straightforward integrating Google Maps API Premier into our platform, and Google provided exceptional resources that made the process efficient and fast."
"—Eric Stainaker, GTX Corp director of business development
GTX Corp brings personal location-based services to the masses with Google Maps API
Wherever you go, there you are, goes the saying – but others might have a tough time finding you, at least until now. With GTX Corp’s Personal Location Services, people can go online and, via an intuitive interface, track the exact location of loved ones, or even their high-value assets. GTX offers miniaturized assisted Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) tracking and cellular locationtransmitting technology for consumer products and applications. The company’s business model is to deliver solutions to consumers in a wide variety of wearable location devices, from shoes to tiny clip-on devices no larger than a small matchbox, by licensing its core technology to branded consumer product partners.
The technology has a vast number of uses, from embedded GPS athletic belts that enable athletes and their fans to track progress and performance during events like triathlons, to devices and footwear that can help track the whereabouts of Alzheimer’s sufferers, or cell phone applications for social networking. "We don’t make the shoes, phones, life preservers, motorcycles,laptops, or other items; we just make them track-able," explains GTX Senior VP of Business Development Ron Pellegrini.
Tracking vehicles and corporate assets using GPS is nothing new – it’s been done for years. But GTX Corp faced a unique challenge: how to take a mature technology originally designed for industry and reconfigure it to be consumerfriendly. The first hurdle was miniaturizing the radio-frequency GPS transceivers and providing enough rechargeable battery capacity so that they would fit into consumer products. The second was enhancing GPS to the point that coverage and reception would be possible indoors, within residential dwellings. Finally, GTX needed a way to simplify the online tracking user interface so that the average consumer could readily understand the software and engage in the tracking process.
"We had to be sure that consumers wouldn’t struggle with any complexity in using our online monitoring portal," says Director of Business Development Eric Stalnaker. "We needed a lifestyle technology familiar to the consumer (Google Maps), and this helped control the costs of providing this valuable service."
Based on its intuitive design and widespread adoption among consumers, GTX Corp selected Google Maps API as the basis for its online portal. GTX considered other mapping options, but selected Google Maps because of its widespread use and superb user interface. "It’s clear that Google spent a lot of time and money to make the Google Maps interface extremely easy to use,"says Stalnaker. "Why not capitalize on that?"
Using Google Maps API as the basis, the GTX technical team created a 24/7 monitoring portal to track GTX-enabled devices. End users pay a subscription fee for portal access, much like the usage and payment model for cell phones. Accessible via the internet, mobile phones, PDAs, and other devices using the AT&T Wireless service, the portal provides the whereabouts of users at the current time as well as a history of the person’s location over the last several months. The real-time location coordinates are rendered on a Google Map. The portal also provides key performance information like speed, bearing, altitude, and battery life. As an added service, GTX’s GeoFence technology can be set up on the portal to deliver proactive alerts via text message or email to a guardian if the user breaches a predefined,customizable geographic area. "You could set up GeoFence to alert you if, for instance, your child leaves his elementary school at 11 a.m. – when you know he should be in class," explains Pellegrini.
Stalnaker reports that integrating Google Maps API into the GTX solution was fast and streamlined. "Our developers noted that it was very straightforward integrating Google Maps API into our platform, and Google provided exceptional resources that made the process efficient and fast," he says.
Most important, the use of Google Maps has made GTX’s Personal Location Services highly accessible and recognizable to our partners and their consumers. "Our goal is to help people and society —so we absolutely can’t give people technology that is tough to use," says Pellegrini. "Google Maps enabled us to deliver a solution that the average consumer can use right away, without difficulty." Stalnaker adds that the use of Google Maps has kept GTX’s customer support exposure and expense to a minimum.
GTX signed its first license agreement with MyAthlete LLC to provide professional and amateur athletes, coaches, and event promoters with a solution worn on a belt that tracks and reports the location, elevation, time,and speed of runners, bikers, swimmers, kayakers, skiers, and other athletes.With all of the possible applications of their technologies, expect to continue seeing GTX solutions coming soon to devices near you.