PlanetLink Communications Inc., (OTC Bulletin Board: PLKC), a provider of satellite-based products and services announced that considerable progress has been made toward the design and development of its PlanetTraks GPS product. The project is being
spearheaded by San Antonio, Texas-based Karta Technologies Inc., an IT, engineering, training and program management service provider. PlanetLink engaged Karta in August this year to begin evaluation of potential open-architecture software solutions to perform the tracking functions of the system. Karta also evaluated the performance characteristics
and availability of existing GSM/GPRS-compatible vehicle units against the feasibility of developing a proprietary tracking element. As a result of this evaluation, Karta recommended that PlanetLink utilize commercially available modules that integrate GPS/GPRS functionality with a customized, web-based software system designed to address the unique requirements of the consumer market. PlanetLink is also initiating the design of a customized vehicle- tracking unit for PlanetTraks.
PlanetLink plans to produce a family of GPS-enabled Mobile Locator Units (MLUs) under the PlanetTraks name, designed to communicate real-time location data and other information over the General Packet Radio System (GPRS) to a secure Internet server. Customers will then be able to access that information via a password-protected web site. PlanetLink is exploring applications for other consumer and commercial customers for tracking people, vehicles, and a variety of other assets. Karta reported that it has established a project schedule and has initiated system design activities. The basic system architecture and third-party software packages have been identified to support customer service and billing, mapping and database utility functions. Karta has also ordered the initial MLUs from a third-party producer and is in discussion with that producer regarding the purchase of a database structure to facilitate the rapid design and development of the software system. A prototype PlanetTraks unit is expected to be completed by late this year. Thereafter, integration testing of the PlanetTraks system with commercially available MLUs should allow for launch of PlanetTraks services by early 2004. Satellite-enabled technology, including GPS technology, is at the core of some of the most innovative new products on the horizon. Using PlanetTraks, consumers will be able to log on to the Internet and immediately pinpoint the location of an automobile or person equipped with its device, such as a child, a hiker or an elderly person. PlanetTraks products will be leased on a monthly-service and usage-charge basis alleviating consumer concerns about technology changes and upgrades.
PlanetLink’s PlanetTraks GPS-related products will include:
— Kidtrak: A personal tracking system to help parents locate a child within minutes
— Parentrak: Designed to permit users to track the location of aging adults/parents
— Autotrak: Will enable parents and others to know the speed at which their children are driving and the location of their vehicle.
This product can also be used to track the location of commercial fleet vehicles used by transportation and delivery companies and a variety of other businesses
— Businesstrak: Designed as a security device for business executives and others
— Twowaytrak: This location device is designed to deliver a panic signal, identify the location, and includes a 2-way audio signal that can be remotely monitored