LAS VEGAS--Garmin, a company best known for its Nuvi line of GPS navigators, is getting into the GPS tracking business with the announcement of the GTU 10 locator, which allows users to keep track of the GPS position of persons and property over the Web.
In theory, the GTU 10 should be easy to use. Simply register the device on My.Garmin.com and attach it to something that needs tracking--clip the unit to a family pet's collar, toss it in your backpack, hardwire it to your car, or duct-tape it a baby. The unit features a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery with a four-week battery life, so you can basically set it and forget it. You can then monitor the location of the GTU 10 using Garmin's tracking Website or by using the free Garmin Tracker app for Android or iPhone devices. Compatible Garmin NuLink devices, such as the Nuvi 1690 or the NuLink 1695, can set the GTU 10's location as a destination and provide turn-by-turn directions.
In addition to tracking, users can create up to 10 virtual "geofences" for the GTU 10 device and receive SMS or e-mail notifications when the device enters or exits a geofenced area--for example, if your car leaves your garage, your cat leaves the yard, or your kids get home from school. Optional alerts are also available for when the GTU's battery gets low or when the device has been deactivated. Using the Website, owners can also view historical data for where the GTU 10 has been.
The GTU 10 keeps in touch with the outside world via AT&T's wireless data network and requires a service plan. The unit's MSRP of $199.99 includes one year of standard tracking ($49.99 per subsequent year), which allows access to 10 points of daily tracking history. For more detailed tracking, there is also a deluxe service plan available for $4.99 per month that offers seven full days of tracking history.