A discreet person locating device is one that does not call attention to itself and doesn’t allow others to see the location of its wearer. This type of device is usually used in medical situations.
People often confuse the words discreet and discrete. Both words come from the Latin word for “discern,” but discrete is actually a spelling doublet with a different meaning.
GPS is one of the world’s most established satellite positioning systems. It supports a wide range of applications on land, at sea and in the air. These include establishing your location on the Earth’s surface, navigation and tracking. GPS technology also enables you to measure your speed and direction of travel and gives you estimated arrival times at specified destinations. Scientists rely on the technology to monitor natural phenomena such as volcanic activity and the movement of the Arctic ice sheets.
The technology is powered by 24 satellites that orbit the Earth twice a day. Each of these sends a signal to your GPS receiver that contains information on its current location, such as the latitude and longitude coordinates. Your GPS device then calculates your exact position on the planet by comparing this data to an online map database.
There are many different types of discreet GPS trackers to choose from. Choosing the right one depends on your needs and the type of person you want to locate. For example, if you’re looking for something discreet to help keep track of your elderly spouse, look for a hidden GPS device that is easy to hide within clothing or luggage.
Some discreet GPS trackers are battery-powered and run off of the power in your vehicle, while others require a monthly fee to use their cellular network connection. Compare these products to find the one that meets your needs and your budget.
Radio frequency (RF) is the range of electromagnetic energy that oscillates at a rate between those of audio frequencies and infrared frequencies. When a RF current is passed through an antenna, it radiates invisible waves in the form of electric and magnetic fields that carry information over long distances. RF signals can be used for wireless broadcasting and communications, including cell phones and Wi-Fi. Like a flashlight beam, the strength of these waves diminishes over distance.
Different RF transmission technologies use different methods of modulation to convey data, for example using on-off signals as in Morse code or changing the amplitude or frequency of the radiated RF depending on what type of signal is being sent. The use of RF is regulated worldwide by national laws and coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union.
Sources of RF that are close to the body include cell phone base stations, cordless phones and local wireless networks, all of which emit electromagnetic energy that can cause discomfort or illness.
Bluetooth is the wireless technology that lets you use earphones and transfer photos between your phone and computer without fussing with wires. It can also be used in a discreet way to locate a person, with the help of beacons, which are small radio transmitters that can be embedded unobtrusively into your environment. Beacons work based on the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) standard and are available in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes. They are cheap (three to thirty euros or dollars) and energy efficient, requiring only a few volts to operate.
To communicate with each other, Bluetooth devices must be paired, a process that involves setting up a security key that the two devices can use to identify and trust each other. This key is generated during the pairing procedure and, if the device settings allow it, is encrypted using the SAFER+ block cipher to grant confidentiality.
Once a pair of Bluetooth devices are paired, they can communicate within 10 meters or 30 feet. This range is more than enough to cover a room, but it’s not large enough for eavesdropping. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has created standards that hardware manufacturers can follow when creating new Bluetooth devices. Currently, the Bluetooth core specification includes Bluetooth Classic (BR/EDR), which runs on 79 channels in the 2.4GHz unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) frequency band and supports point-to-point device communication. There’s also Bluetooth LE, which operates on a mesh topology that allows for the formation of reliable large-scale device networks.