How does pet GPS tracking work?
Although rather complicated, we will try and explain it so you understand the basic aspects of GPS tracking. The device the pet wears contains a GPS module and requires battery power to function. Regular charging of the device is therefore of upmost importance for the product to function properly. Various factors influence how long the battery will last before charging is required - this is explained BELOW.
A phone application is downloaded your your mobile device which will supply the visuals for the tracking experience. In the app is an icon called LOCATE. Once you push this button the app instructs the GPS Module in the device to communicate with the GPS satellites orbiting earth and to tell us the position of the device. The module will then establish a connection with the constellation of satellites called GPS which belongs to the US Airforce. There are 24 American GPS satellites orbiting earth.
The module inside the device sends a signal into space and has to connect to at least 4 satellites to establish and accuracy of up to 1 meter. This means the device worn by the pet will be tracked to the precise location the pet is at, at a specific time - that is pretty awesome! Once connection has been made you will get a message in the app "successful positioning" which means the device managed to communicate with the satellites. If connection to 4 satellites cannot be made the device accuracy will be affected. There are not always 4 satellites directly above in space, so if the device is not pinpoint accurate you will know why. You will get a 1 to 10 metre accuracy at most times.
Once communication with satellites has been established the information needs to get back to earth. The satellites then communicate with network operators like Vodafone and that is why you need a simcard. The simcard merely acts as a bridge to get the information from the satellites to your cellphone. The information is sent to a server to convert the info to an understandable format. Then it is converted to Internet format and from there the information is sent to your cellphone for viewing. The app is linked to Google Maps where you can view the location in either street view or satellite view.
What influences battery Life?
Many factors contribute to how long the battery will last before the next charge is due. As explained, above, the GPS Module uses a lot of energy. When you receive the device obviously you will be playing around in the app and getting to know the product so you will experience a shorter battery life. However, as time goes by and you only track when necessary, you will experience a longer lasting battery life.
Every time you push locate it consumes battery power. If a Geo-fence is set up it also contributes to quick draining of the battery. The fence alert is always on guard so it will obviously use battery power in excess.
Furthermore, the device also works on GSM Networks and when the location information reaches your phone it uses battery power as well. Every time the device sends information the GSM Module is activated to transmit the information. If more than one user uses the app it will influence the battery life.
The battery can deplete quicker than usual if there is poor network coverage in the area. If network coverage is bad, the device in the background searches for a better signal and can search up to 50 times per hour for a better signal. This consumes a lot of battery power and in this instance you might only get one day of battery life.
If the device is tracked in moderation, by a single user, meaning not playing around locating the entire day and phoning the device, you should easily achieve a longer lasting battery life before having to charge again.
The device has 3 different interval settings:
- 1 minute: One to two days of moderate use
- 10 minute: Two day plus used in moderation
- Power saving hourly intervals: This setting actually uses more battery power than the first two interval settings. The reason for this is the device goes into a deep sleep turning both the GPS and the GSM modules off. On an hourly interval the devices then wakes up, the GPS as well as GSM Module gets turned on. The devices searches for signal as well as satellites so this consumes a lot more battery power.
Only locate your pet when necessary. If you will be tracking the pet regularly be aware that you will have to charge the device more often. On the hour interval setting as well as 10 minute interval the history report playback does not show a true reflection where your pet has been. If you have a busy pet and do not mind charging the device often, the one minute interval setting give the best experience.