You know that scene that pops up in practically every espionage movie you watch? The one where the hero slaps a GPS transponder on the undercarriage of the villain's car, and then tracks his whereabouts from a laptop or smartphone? For the longest time that wasn't something that average Joes like you and I could do, but now, thanks to a recently-launched Kickstarter campaign, we might soon be able to.
TrackerPad, as its called, is a coin-sized item tracker that allows you to track practically anything. Unlike bluetooth item trackers, which have a severely limited range, TrackerPad is equipped with a full-fledged global positioning system, allowing you to track its location (via an accompanying mobile app) no matter where it goes.
It's definitely not the first GPS tracker that's ever been created, but it's got a few big features that you won't elsewhere. First and foremost, it's tiny. With roughly the same size and dimensions as a quarter, it's small enough to fit onto things like your wallet, cellphone, or keys -- without adding a noticeable amount of bulk.
The power system is also pretty slick. Instead of getting juice from a coin cell battery, TrackerPad runs off of a rechargeable lithium ion cell. This battery can last up to 7 days on a single charge, and once it craps out, you just drop it onto an induction pad to re-energize it. There's no fiddling with wires or plugs here -- it's all wireless and self-contained.
Arguably TrackerPad's coolest feature, however, is its reusable adhesive back. It's designed to be stuck and unstuck from a variety of different surfaces, and all you need to do is wash it off with cold water to make it sticky again.
TrackerPads aren't available for purchase quite yet, but the creators have recently taken to Kickstarter to raise funds for production. You can get your hands on two TrackerPads and a charging bay for a pledge of about $47 bucks, and (assuming that the project meets its $155K goal) the founders expect to begin shipping sometime in December.