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GPS embedded into laptop battery

For tracking sensitive laptop locations
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
  [vote for,

This is simple, but as far as I can tell it has not yet been created. If I had the money I would even consider a patent for this one.

Take a laptop battery for a business class laptop like say the Dell Lattitude D630. Take a small Active GPS tracker such as the UBI-4000 (see link), Take the board minus battery from the UBI-4000 and insert inside of laptop battery. Use a regulator to insure that the GPS gets the correct voltage, and now you can track you laptops. When the laptop charges, it also charges the GPS, so there is no need for the laptop user to have to charge or plug in the GPS. This GPS would not have bluetooth or interface in any way with the laptop, this would make it more or less stealth. This would be great for laptops with sensitive data on it.

This is not fool proof, the battery could be replaced with one that does not have a GPS embedded, but the idea is to be able to have an instant view of the location of all laptops which are considered sensative from one screen. When manufacturs start embedding GPS trackers into the laptop itself, then this idea will become obsolete, but until then, this just may provide a cost effective way of laptop tracking, which can work along with such software based products as computrace and lojack.

I got this idea when playing with a brand new UBI-4000 that my company is using to track employee locations. It has a built in GSM cell radio. Please know that I am in no way affiliated with the manufacture of the UBI-4000 I am just a user.

dlapham, Jun 14 2007

Info on the GPS tracker referenced http://www.globaltrackinggroup.com
This GPS may be small enough to fit inside some laptop batteries [dlapham, Jun 14 2007]


       I'll be the first of the spelling nazis - "sensitive"
CaptainClapper, Jun 14 2007

       Do we only get one each? Ok, I'll take sp "insert".   

       By the way, what's wrong with just having the GPS installed into the laptop itself? When the computer is charged/on, so is the GPS.
theleopard, Jun 14 2007

       Thanks I'll correct the noted spelling, I can't spell or type as you can see.   

       leopard: I think this would be great inside the laptop, but that would require the manufacture of the laptop to design it into the laptop so that is does not require software or for the laptop to be turned on. If that was done, it would be much better than this idea. This is a way to retrofit just about any laptop by designing a battery for it, which is something that a third party can do.
dlapham, Jun 14 2007

       [theleopard] what if the "robber" doesn't turn the laptop on? If it was a seperate system merely using energy from the battery then it would work.
punk_punker, Jun 14 2007

       Someone would turn it on at some point though, Shirley? Otherwise, what's the point in stealing it in the first place? Spare parts? The battery would be the first thing sold.   

       [dlapham] I see your point though.
theleopard, Jun 14 2007

       it's a good "I wouldn't think to look there" location, but why not something that isn't removable, like the screen? I agree with [theleopard] - it's way better to have the GPS on the laptop itself - maybe even on the hard drive, so you can literally track the data -- although, it would only work if it were being physically transported somewhere.
CaptainClapper, Jun 14 2007

       You'd have to GPS the data directly to make this effective. Then you could have a GPS map showing how the data was copied and distributed. The map would be pretty dull for a govt. issue laptop but pretty exciting for the illicit Paris Hilton porn video.
nuclear hobo, Jun 14 2007

       [hobo] I think that what you mention is being looked into in such ways as adding a Lat-Lon header to files as they are saved, this could even be encrypted.   

       My concept is much more basic and simplistic. This GPS does not have any interface to the laptop or its data. This is for tracking the movement of the hardware only wheather the laptop is powered on or not.   

       That is not to say that you couldn't use both systems. My idea is that this would be used in two ways.   

       1. Employee has laptop, but someone didn't properly document it's location, you look at map and find laptop.   

       2. Laptop gets stolen from car or office, staff knows within 30 minutes that laptop is missing. They immediatly locate and recover the system. This may not be effective for long term recovery depending on a lot of factors, such as parting out the system, copying the data, etc.
dlapham, Jun 14 2007

       So my laptop battery is being drained even when I have it turned off? No thanks, my battery lifetime is short enough as it is.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 14 2007

       All the GPS things I have ever used need a reasonable 'view' of the sky. Even a good canopy of trees can be enough to block the signals from the sky. Let's hope the robber doesn't put the laptop in a bag, in his car or in a house.   

       The car 'tracker' anti theft thing was invented long before GPS was available to everyone. Nowadays I believe they do have a GPS aspect to their operation, but only to add a bit of extra early-detection accuracy. Mostly they rely on a transmitter on the box, (jimmy bond-style homing beacon) and the police come looking for that signal. Once the car thieves get the car into a garage to start grinding off the VIN the GPS becomes useless.
theNakedApiarist, Jun 14 2007

       [apiarist] The UBI-4000 that I have clipped to my waist now works inside my car, inside my house, and close to windows inside the steel building that I work in. That is the GPS part, then the cell phone works anywhere that you have a GSM signal. It sends the last GPS location when poled even if it doesn't have current coverage. The current GPS systems are MUCH better than they were even a year ago.   

       [Galbinus] it will drain battery, but not by much. I am using a GPS which has a tiny Li-Ion battery in it and it last over 24 hrs without being hooked to a charger. If a laptop is connected to power every three days or so, then the drain should not be noticed, most of the target customers for this device will have their laptop plugged for most of it's use.   

       [lt_frank] what you say is true about laptop batteries. If this were mass produced, it may be a good thing to make the battery where the GPS can be taken out and reused. It is true the a thief could also remove the GPS, but he could also just remove the battery. The key to this working is stealth, that battery should look no different than any other standard batt.
dlapham, Jun 14 2007

       then a bun for this sound suggestion!
theNakedApiarist, Jun 15 2007

       Brilliant! I want one on my laptop :P
evilpenguin, Jun 15 2007

       First off: [+] for good idea. If it comes out, i'll buy one. (It does need a way to retrofit existing batteries, so as to prevent people from throwing away useful batteries...)   

       Problems though...   

       Word spreads that the device exists, so:   

       Thief enters office building, spots laptop. Removes battery, steals power adapter and laptop, and leaves the battery with the GPS in it on the table.   

       Now the GPS is still at the office, but the laptop is long gone...
wolstech, Jun 17 2007


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