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Hot-Spot Pet Tracker

Use ambient 802.11b networks to track your lost pets.
  [vote for,

I’m not sure if this belongs in “Computers” or “Pets”, but here it goes: Hot spots are popping up all over the landscape, and we all have walked thru them without even knowing it. When ever I walk thru someone else’s energy field, I think “How can I tap this resource for my own selfish purposes?”

Drop everything and install the Hot-Spot Tracker Collar on anything of yours that may wander off!

If you lose a pet, child, or husband, you can go to a web site that will give the long and lat of that last known hot spot contact. Each time the stray soul wanders thru a hot spot, it sends a simple “I was here” packet to the server, where the location and time are recorded.

You can use the maps to show in which direction your pet is heading, where your husbands mistress lives (we know she has a hot-spot!), and that your child has been asleep upstairs all along.

Two social engineering hurdles have to be knocked down. First, all access points must permit the “I was here” protocol to pass; second, all hot-spots would have to register their long and lat. (This would meet the most resistance).

With those hurdles out of the way, the Hot Spot Tracker could be used to recover stolen goods , tell you how far away the pizza delivery driver is, and where did I park the car last night.

Some pessimist might ask “What about privacy?” – To which I ask: What would you rather have: Personal privacy, or the ability to spy on others? I would guess that 99.9% of all hot spot owners would want to part of an evil cabal of some sort, and pick the latter.

1st2know, Dec 02 2003

Wheels of Zeus http://www.woz.com/
Steve Wozniak's new startup is building something similar, though it uses its own radio and not WiFi hotspots. [krelnik, Oct 04 2004]


       How does it work again?
lizziepunkin, Dec 02 2003

       From my experience using hotspot connections, is that they're usually not broad enough to accomodate the average pet/spouse/pet's wondering habits. Unless your dog might possibly trot through the local coffee shop, or University library, I can't see this being of much use at all. Besides, my local area isn't laden with exactly the most tech-savvy crowd, so most of them would know/care just as much about it's existance as they would know/care about using this service.
Letsbuildafort, Dec 02 2003

       Could work nicely with a subscription service to protect your privacy. The wandering object starts with an ID that the authorized user just downloaded from the service, like "A$%^56@#$". It sends the ID at the first spot "A$%^56@#$ was here" and receives the response "Now you are 345G*F", which it uses at the next spot. Only the subscription service knows who is who and tells the authorized user where the mistress lives.
kbecker, Dec 02 2003

       umm... it would be much easier to work with whatever is already out there. instead of creating a new protocol, simply have it use http. or https if security was important.   

       as for location, instead of relying on the AP to report it accurately, have the tracker unit consist of a tiny cpu (prolly running embedded linux), a wireless interface that scans for open AP's, and a gps unit that obtains the location data.   

       so what happens is you buy this doodad, go to a website, register your info. input that info to your tracker device (also could be done over the web... since it wont have external controls but will have a wifi connection)   

       the problem is power, that would suck alot of juice and probably be a bit bulky... altho no more bulky than a cellphone most likely.
hoeken, Jun 16 2004

       [hoeken], I have to disagree...   

       I could build one of these the size of a quarter that would use watch batteries with off the shelf stuff.
zigness, Jun 16 2004

       if Zigness can build it of the size of a quarter i would suggest it to be coated with biomembranes and planted deep inside the body of every criminal so that the law enforcement is able to know where these people are moving and tracking them in case of a jailbreak too would be much easier. Good Bye parole officers........
geekboy, Jun 16 2004


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