Handheld GPS

Fun and Exciting Handheld GPS Systems

Handheld GPS Systems can be used to enhance productivity and improve quality of life.  But they can also be used for fun.  This website concentrates on the more serious and important ways Handheld GPS Systems can help you.  Whether you are looking to track your pet, map your location when driving, and keep track of where you’ve been when hiking, Handheld GPS Systems are a great tool.  But then again, there are fun ways to use Handheld GPS Systems, and we go over them below.

Fun with Handheld GPS Systems

1. Promotions where you can win money.  A very large soda manufacturer experimented with GPS chips for tracking when they did a contest that embedded a GPS chip in a soft drink can.  The winner of the contest would have no need to come forward – the built-in GPS chip would bring the company to him or her if they won!  Imagine if more lotteries and other contests worked this way – you do nothing but sit back and hope your prize arrives!

2. GPS tracking for curiosity.  While we do not advocate allowing most domesticated animals free rein outside because of the many dangers that they could run in to, we do know of people who have befriended wild animals, such as cats, in their neighborhood.  Also, there are exceptions to the rule – animals who it’s not only okay to let loose but even advisable, such as certain birds.  In these cases it can be quite interesting to use a Handheld GPS System.

3. Handheld GPS Systems to solve a friendly dispute.  Ever have a friendly argument about which path to somewhere is shorter?  Or have you ever tried to compare notes about who has a more physically active day?  If you have a Handheld GPS System you can carry with you or wear, you may be able to solve these arguments once and for all!  Know who really walked the furthest or which route is truly the shortest, and then move on to the next dispute!

4. GPS social networking.  We will soon be covering this topic more fully on its own page, but in brief GPS social networking brings people together at locations that can be determined on the fly.  This may include people who know each other, or those who merely have a common interest and met online.

5. GPS Tracking in sport.  GPS mapping and tracking could find applications in sport, whether tracking a cross-country runner or mapping a orienteer who is trying to find the best path.  GPS mapping may also help any number of athletes find the best path to success, especially those whose sport requires long routes.

6. Kids games for adults.  When you were a kid you probably played hide and seek in your home or outside nearby.  Imagine using GPS tracking to play a game of hide and seek that spans an entire town or city?  Or how about hide and seek that is nationwide?  Handheld GPS Systems may provide that opportunity.

7. Handheld GPS Systems and Dating: With the multitude of dating innovations that have come as internet technology has evolved, we’ve got to think that there could be a place for dating that uses GPS tracking and mapping.  How about a game where people speed date by going from place to place locating each new person using Handheld GPS Systems?  Or maybe the date itself uses a GPS location game to break the ice and ensure that both people have fun no matter whether there is a connection or not.

These are just a few ideas for how Handheld GPS Systems can be used for fun and excitement, beyond the more “important” uses we cover elsewhere here.  As with every innovation, there may be ways that built-in GPS for tracking and mapping can be used creatively to satisfy many audiences, and we present just a few here.

Ensuring that your Handheld GPS System Works Well

Maximum Signal Strength

For any Handheld GPS System to work you need to be in a good signal coverage area.  The kinds of areas that can block a signal are those that have a lot of buildings or in nature rocky ledges.  In these kinds of areas you will have to move to a place where you can see a larger portion of open sky before the GPS will work.

There are also some lesser known reasons why your Handheld GPS System may not be getting a strong signal.  For example, look up your car windshield and see whether it is classified as “athermic”.  These newer types of windshields can lower the strength of a built-in GPS product in the car.

Sometimes it may not be clear why your device is not getting a signal for its Handheld GPS System, but some devices can help you figure out what happened to block the signal.  Some smart phones, for example, have options that allow you to check when the phone last received a valid and strong signal.

Loss of GPS Signal

There are times when your device that has built-in GPS will not receive a signal for a minute or two, and then the signal will return.  However, if the loss of signal is prolonged and there is no obvious external reason, you may want to refresh your GPS – like many other pieces of tech hardware, it may be that the software has frozen and it’s not really about the signal.  Of course the other reason why you could lose your GPS signal is that whatever you are trying to track with your Handheld GPS System – including yourself – could be behind or underneath something that blocks the signal.  Thick brick, stone, or concrete will block the signal.  Of course this could be a particular problem when you are trying to recover lost items that may be inside.  Hopefully you have a built-in GPS that maps the path the item took.

Enabling GPS for Applications

In the case of devices that use multiple applications, you may experience problems despite having built-in GPS if you have not effectively activated GPS for each application you are going to use.  In many cases you have to manually give the app permission to access your data.  Make sure you have enabled the tracking feature, and when you update the device make sure that feature stayed enabled.

GPS chips losing strength over time

Handheld GPS Systems are built to last, and one of the major advancements over the past few years, along with these chips getting smaller and being able to be embedded more easily has been their durability.  However, as with any electronic equipment, Handheld GPS System does lose some strength over time and eventually you will need to replace them.  Make sure you are testing your embedded chip every now and again.

These are just a few tips and tricks to using embedded GPS chips and understanding the drawbacks.  In all, this technology is very helpful and will be a positive addition.  We hope that others who have used Handheld GPS Systems will share their own experiences and tips in the comments section below.

What To Look For in a Handheld GPS

Choosing the perfect built in GPS product is not easy, since this technology has truly taken off and you will have an abundance of options.  Like many innovative technologies, you will be faced with choices about size, effectiveness, durability, and price.  Given that built in gps is also an emerging technology there may not always be information about how well the product performs over time, and customer reviews may be sparse.  On this page we will try to provide information and advice to the prospective built in GPS buyer, and we hope that our readers will add their own experiences by using the comments forms.

As stated above, there is wide variability among today’s mobile GPS tracking and mapping products. In order to make an informed decision, particularly when buying on-line, here are some things you should know about a built-in GPS product before buying one:

The brand name: Look for a brand that you know, perhaps one that makes car GPS units. GPS tracking and mapping technology is similar whether it is in a dog collar, sneaker, or car, so a brand that makes a quality built in GPS product in one area probably does in another as well.

How closely will the GPS tracking system pinpoint your position. Is it within fifty feet or ten feet?  Most of these systems are highly accurate, but as the technology shrinks, sometimes it loses accuracy

How heavy is the product – this can matter for many portable products.  For example, you do not want a GPS collar to be uncomfortable for your dog.

How big is the GPS transmitter?  This one is tricky.  You do not want the transmitter to be so big that it is bulky and could shake loose or get caught on something.  You also do not want it so small that it has trouble doing its job.

For some products it is vital that the GPS system be water and weatherproof, and you should make sure you understand what the company is using for definitions of these attributes.

What is the warranty – how confident os the manufacturer about their product?

What is the sensitivity of the GPS receiver – if it is low there could be many places where the product does not pick up a signal.

Can the GPS software transmit to a cellphone or smartphone?  Most of these products do, of course, but its worth checking to be sure

How is the product charged?  built in GPS products need to be powered in one way or another, so you need to know what that process entails and then how long the charge is held.

These are just some of the things you should look in to when purchasing a built in GPS product for tracking or mapping.  Of course it is not an exhaustive list, but it should get you started.  Make sure you match the need for which you are investing in built in GPS with the specific attributes of the product.

Have you used embedded GPS in a fun new way?  We hope you will share below.  And if you are in the market for a product, we hope that this page provided the information and advice you need to determine which of the various Handheld GPS Systems is for you.