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A peanut-shaped, hand-held, smart, long-range tracking device called LynQ has been launched that can tell you how far and in what direction your friends are, all without the need for a data connection, and without monthly fees.
As well as being used for outdoor activities to replace traditional maps and location methods, a ‘LynQ’ can be used as a safety device for tracking children or pets, for rescue workers, or for making sure dementia sufferers don’t wander too far. It can also be used as a fun / leisure device e.g. to find each other in festival crowds, or to keep track of each other when hiking or skiing.
Powered by a rechargeable power cell that can offer up to three days of battery life between charges, a LynQ can reportedly track other LynQ users from up to 3 miles (5km) away.
Being marketed as a kind of smart compass for the 21st century, the LynQ doesn’t need an app, phone or Wi-Fi network. Instead, it uses what is described as “a new approach to GPS”. This means that LynQ devices send their GPS coordinates directly to each other. The GPS data has a compression algorithm applied to it in order to make it possible to send that data more frequently and reliably.
LynQ allows 2 or more people (up to 12 can link up) to use a one-button control and simple digital interface to find each other. The display shows a simple display of distance and direction that changes accurately as you move towards or away from your target, and the single button allows you to switch between people you’re tracking.
The display turns off automatically when you let it go to hang by its clip, thus saving battery life, but the LynQ is always receiving the data.
The device allows you to create a “home” location that linked devices can point toward. It also allows you to set a safe zone (a radius from your device) that will warn you if the other person leaves that safe zone. You can also send basic preset messages like “meet up” or “help.”
The price is $154 / £114.30 per pair (early bird), going up to $200 / £148.40.
This is another smart device that shows how a combination of technologies can be used to create something that can meet a real need and has multiple applications e.g. leisure, sport, safety, and even defence. For example, the Thai Ministry of Defence tested LynQ and found that it helped soldiers find each other much faster while radio silent, and helped them quickly get into formation for a search mission.
This could also represent another possible way to keep track of those in the care of others e.g. dementia sufferers being tracked by carers. Back in 2016 for example, a barcode tagging system for tracking elderly dementia sufferers was being tested in Tokyo, but the LynQ could provide an even simpler and more practical system.
Quite simply as a gadget, the LynQ appears to have multiple applications, thereby offering many opportunities to business and personal users. The fact that the LynQ requires no monthly fees, and doesn’t require a data connection will increase its appeal.
The hope is that the LynQ device is secure and that signals can’t be intercepted and used by criminals to track victims e.g. for attack or abduction. There are still widespread fears about the vulnerability of many smart / IoT devices to hacking, but the fact that LynQ doesn’t need a connection could make it safer.