written by: Kristina Dems•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 2/28/2011
What are GPS chips installed in, exactly? Most of us are aware of cars can easily be tracked using GPS chips, but individual humans can also be tracked now using everyday objects like watches and cellphones.
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GPS receivers are no longer limited to being handheld or car mountable devices. They can now be as small as a matchstick, which means they can be installed in all sorts of items. What are GPS chips installed in, exactly? The most common devices currently embedded with GPS chips include cars, cellphones and pet collars.
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It is quite efficient to install GPS chips on cellphones because these mobile devices are easy to carry and most of them are affordable enough for each family member to carry one. Cell phone service carriers are starting to offer built-in GPS tracking features in some of their phones, especially those specifically designed to be carried by children. Some pinpoint the exact location of a cell phone via another phone. Others simply alert a cell phone if another one goes beyond a predetermined area. This method of tracking via cell phones is an efficient and user-friendly way to track family members, friends and employees. Services such as establishment locators may also be implemented using GPS chips in cell phones. The applications are endless, but the primary concern about this type of installation is the involuntary tracking of adults.
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Pet collars can be embedded with GPS chips to make them comfortable tracking devices that do not interfere with pets' activities. The main application for this is to track lost pets or simply monitor their movements so owners do not have to suffer the anguish of losing a pet. Hunters can also attach GPS collars to their hunting companions to track them in hunting excursions easily. GPS chip implants are also in its beginning stages where both pets and animals in the wild can be tracked and monitored by implanting tiny devices under their skin. For animals in the wild, this lets scientists study them and their behavior without interfering with their lives. This also keeps scientists and other professionals who work with animals to monitor the animals without putting their human lives at risk.
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GPS receivers are usually mounted on car dashboards where they are a part of navigation systems. However, there are GPS devices that are installed in vehicles where their sole purpose is to track the movement and location of the car. Parents who want to track their children's activities whenever they take the car out or employers who want to make sure that their employees are using the company's vehicles only for official purposes primarily install these devices. For parents tracking teens, this is not a big deal. However, for employees, this way of tracking their activities may be a little uncomfortable even if it is being done to protect their company's assets.
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Some children may be too young to be entrusted with a cell phone, so tracking them requires some ingenuity. Luckily for parents, GPS-based tracking devices are coming out in various forms such as watches and shoes. These items are embedded with GPS chips that let parents monitor their children's location at all times without having them carry a bulky mobile device.
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“What are GPS chips installed in?" may not be a touchy subject when it comes to pets and young children, but for teenagers and adults, learning what items can be used to track them is a big deal. The issue of privacy is always in question when it comes to human tracking, so it is always a concern for everyone what objects can be used to deprive them of their privacy.