GPS Snitch keeps tabs on your car

CALGARY, AB, November 8, 2008/Troy Media/ -- Are you looking for the perfect gift for the tech enthusiast on your Christmas list? Or maybe you have concerns about the security of your vehicles or need to keep tabs on a new driver? Blackline GPS, a Calgary-based company and a leader in GPS tracking and social interaction, delivers all that and more with GPS Snitch.

GPS SnitchA small unit about the size of a mobile phone, GPS Snitch can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, or any other asset you might want to keep tabs on. The location information is available from the users account through an easy to use web interface and from any mobile phone supporting SMS.

Blackline GPS President and Founder, Patrick Rousseau, says they first came up with the idea when he and his partner were working for a company with a fleet tracking offering. But the complexity of that product and the multiple service providers involved did not translate well to the consumer market. Rousseau and his partners developed GSP Snitch as an easy and affordable way for the average consumer to track assets like vehicles.

“GPS Snitch requires no install and it’s a one stop shop. We made the product as simple as possible and we handle all service delivery,” says Rousseau. “We get to the core of what people really want from a tracking device. We give you instant alerting of break-ins using a motion sensor that detects if someone is trying to break into your car. All of this is accessible in real time through the web or through your Blackberry.”

Available in major big box stores across Canada, Rousseau says Snitch sales are going well. The company’s biggest challenge has not been getting retailers to see the value of the product, but rather educating consumers about its multiple benefits. Not only is Snitch a theft detection device, but parents of young drivers are also using it to keep tabs on their kids. It also buys users piece of mind if they have to park their car in less desirable areas.

“When you are able to locate your vehicle remotely you save time and stress. If you are getting stressed because your daughter was supposed to be home by 9:00 and it’s 9:15 you can find out where she is. Or if you park in more dangerous or high theft areas, you get piece of mind with our product,” says Rousseau, who has also used the device to track his briefcase and other assets.

With the success of GPS Snitch, Blackline is coming out with two new offerings that take Snitch one step further in asset security and retrieval. Seeker™ for vehicles and Harpoon™ for water crafts will be on the market in the first few months of 2009. Unlike GPS Snitch that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, Seeker and Harpoon are permanently installed and come with a key fob to activate or disarm the device. Much like home security, when the device detects a theft, Blackline follows up with the owner to verify that the vehicle has been stolen, and works with police to try to retrieve the vehicle.

“With GPS Snitch we had a lot of questions from customers around what to do if their car gets stolen. With Seeker, we will fulfill every aspect of the vehicle recovery.”

Blackline is also working with the insurance industry to educate them on the value of GPS Snitch and Seeker. In the near future Blackline expects people who use these devices to qualify for insurance discounts.

The success of Blackline GPS is definitely a good news story for the Calgary tech community, especially when you consider how difficult it can be to successfully launch a consumer product. Rousseau says they have taken advantage of resources in the community whenever possible, like connecting to Calgary Technologies Inc. to seek help with financing. As a client of Alberta Deal Generator, a joint program of Calgary Technologies and TEC Edmonton, they received help developing an effective investor pitch and presented their pitch at an ADG private investor forum. Rousseau says the program was invaluable for making their pitch more effective and building confidence for approaching investors.

Blackline’s GPS devices range in price from $299 to $349 with monthly monitoring starting at less than $15. If you’re not sure if GPS tracking is for you, check out their web site for a free, no fee download of BlackLine’s Blip application for BlackBerry smartphones, a tracking and social interaction application.

Keywords: GPS Snitch, insurance discounts, Calgary tech community, Calgary Technologies Inc., asset security, asset retrieval

By Sandra Sweet
Troy Media Corporation

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