GPS трекер Xexun TK 102, GPS трекер TK 102-2, GPS трекер TK 103

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Function Enhancements Boost Slow GPS Watch Tracker Line


Compact designs, larger battery capacity and cost-efficient GPS modules are among the latest trends in GPS watch trackers.

Keen to step out of the shadow of the robust GPS tracker sector, makers of GPS watch trackers are turning to design and feature innovations to buoy up the industry. Unlike in its sister line, demand in the latter category is small as most products are pricier than GPS-enabled mobile phones.

Manufacturers are therefore trying to come up with designs that will attract more buyers and eventually boost the segment. Miniaturization is a strong trend, particularly among makers that target sports enthusiasts. With smaller form factors, parts can be minimized, thereby rendering the product less susceptible to damage and enhancing its performance. Streamlined styles likewise match users' portability and discreetness requirements.

Some suppliers are introducing versions with special functions such as thermometers and altimeters for outdoor applications.

Shenzhen Xexun Technology Co. Ltd, one of the earliest developers of GPS trackers in China, plans to strengthen R&D and sales of watch varieties. The latter currently accounts for 10 percent of output, but this share is expected to rise to 30 percent in coming months. It predicts that the device will be increasingly employed for outdoor monitoring.

The enterprise also provides personal and vehicle types.

Another aspect makers are trying to improve is the battery life of GPS watch trackers. Because of the small battery, capacity and operating time are limited. Topten Electronics Technology Ltd aims to adopt high-capacity alternatives to enhance performance.

Topten has released the WT100 model with two-way communication, speed dial, geofence alert, SOS and power-save mode. It has 512KB internal memory for storing offline GPS data. While the company has no plans of launching more GPS watch trackers in the next six months, it will improve the performance of the current selection, especially in terms of power consumption and water resistance.

Manufacturers are also utilizing GPS modules that offer the best price-to-performance ratio to provide competitive quotes.

GPS watch tracker range
As a subcategory of personal trackers, GPS watch trackers can be utilized for monitoring children, the elderly, the disabled and outdoor personnel. They are likewise employed in criminal management.

Users can receive data on target latitude and longitude via SMS and GPRS. Many devices also support two-way communication, SOS and voice monitoring.

Products from China generally belong to the low-end and midrange. Prices are between $70 and $150.

Entry-level versions, ranging from $70 to $90, have SOS buttons and provide two-way talking, geofence and low-power alert, voice monitoring and realtime tracking. GPS information is received through SMS or GPRS. Map locations can be checked using smartphones or computers. Models designed to track children have attractive designs.

Trackers classified as midrange have built-in memory, large battery capacity and overspeeding alert. These are quoted between $91 and $130.

High-end variants exceed $131 and are used in more professional situations such as outdoor sports. The devices are equipped with a thermometer, altimeter and compass, and can endure harsh environments or extreme weather conditions.

GPS watch trackers may also be classified into pure devices and those with other value-added features. The first is usually small and supports GPS tracking and SOS. The second has more functions and parts, and are not designed like a common watch. Although outdoor sports fans favor the more basic version, the last is expected to breach the outdoor monitoring field.

Most GPS watch trackers from China makers are exported under OEM and ODM terms. A few companies, however, are building their own brands to boost product positioning.

Mainland China suppliers purchase GPS chipsets or modules from CSR, u-Blox and MediaTek, but there are other sources of these components in Taiwan, Europe and the US.

Locally, Jiaxing Jiali, Sim Technology and Skylab M&C make GPS modules as well. Alternatives may be procured from SiRF, MediaTek and Atheros.

Taiwan: Fitness, training emerging applications

Taiwan-made GPS watch trackers ranging from $42 to $70 typically have data logger, location finder, photo tagger and a Seiko watch solution from Japan. Those with heart rate monitors are $20 higher. Upscale versions are priced between $90 and $120.