BikePortland subscriber and resident bike theft expert Bryan Hance from The Bike Index checked out the Iota Tracker with an eye towards bike tracking, DIY hacking, and more.
We field a lot of questions about ‘bike trackers’ at the Bike Index – everybody wants a small, affordable GPS tracker for their bike. Sounds like a simple request; but many people are surprised to learn a product like this doesn’t exist yet.
There are a few basic reasons why trackers aren’t as great as you think:
Size/hideability — It is hard to disguise a tracker so thieves can’t instantly find it. And having something that uses several antennas (GPS and cellular) means they aren’t easily hidden – nor are they very small.
Reliance on cellular — Most trackers use the cellular network to report their location, which means most trackers are 50% cell phone parts – and means paying for cell data, supporting a SIM card, having a hefty battery, etc.