Project Description

Zoombak: Ending the Argument on Speed
My wife’s driving is a topic of continued debate between the two of us; particularly the speed at which she drives. In her opinion, she drives just fine; “just keeping up with the flow of traffic,” is her argument. Me? I’m persistent in my search for an auto body shop that will install a brake pedal on the passenger side of the car. Nevertheless, we simply agree to disagree on the subject.

However, when I was asked to test the Zoombak Universal A-GPS Locator I thought what better a test ground for a device designed to track speed and location than my wife’s car? My hope was that cold hard facts would finally lend support to my side of the argument. Although based on previous disagreements between the two of us—and anyone married will surely agree—there was no reason to believe that even facts would force her to admit I was correct. But I’m the eternal optimist.

Setting up for my little experiment was relatively simple. As with many test devices my came pre-registered, but I am certain that the process is quite simple. From there the rest of the setup process came via my locator’s online portal—called Locator Center.

My first task was to set up my home zone, which I used as our home address. From the locator center I was then able to set up how what I wanted to track my device—by zone, by speed—how I wanted to be notified—by email or mobile phone—and even set up some housekeeping-type settings like getting notified if the device’s battery was low or somehow got powered off.

The feature I found particularly useful was the ‘zone’ setting for the device. Here I was able to establish a boundary to which the device could not go beyond—for sake of the trial I simply set up 400 yards to ensure my wife would indeed cross the boundary (my fight involved speed, not location). Within the zone tab I was also able to establish when to get notified—when she entered and left the boundary, or simply one or the other. I was even able set up a schedule of how often this boundary would be enforced—by hour, by day, 24/7, etc. All of these parameters seem very handy so that if indeed I was tracking my teenage driver, for example, I would not have to manually set up a schedule each time they took the car—I could just set it up once to coincide with the schedule at which they regularly take the car, for example.

Under the ‘speed’ tab—which was my primary target—I simply had to provide the basics; speed limit, schedule, and method of notification and I was set to go.

One option I did not get a chance to test was ‘tracking,’ although it did look quite appealing. By simply selecting dates on a calendar you can tell every location your locator has been during that timeframe.

As for the device itself, all I had to do was place it into my wife’s car—at the suggestion of Zoombak I slipped it into the glove box. Back inside I clicked my device from the locator center and requested it to be located via the GPS signal, which happened almost instantly. The only step remaining was to let my wife take the car.

The next morning my wife stepped out to run some errands. Once she was gone, I poured a cup of coffee, opened up my email, and kept my cell phone nearby in anticipation of my alerts (I opted to get notified via text for speed and email for speed and boundary). Within moments I received my first text message informing me that my locator has exceeded the speed limit.

Amid my moment of satisfaction I forgot all about the email alerts set up with the system. Upon signing in there were four new messages waiting for me from; the first informing me that the device had moved beyond the set boundary, and the other three informing me that my device had exceeded the pre-established speed limit. Three! Mind you, this was all in the matter of 15 minutes since my wife’s departure.

I couldn’t resist calling my wife and asking her to, “please slow down a bit on your way down Route 59.” It took a while to convince her that I wasn’t doing something strange like following her in my car, but instead doing a completely rationale thing by tracking her with a location-based device I slipped into her glove box the night before. Looking back I must concur with her assessment of the situation at that moment of being “kind of creepy.”

All kidding aside though, I found the Zoombak device to be extremely user friendly and could very well see making good use of the product on a regular basis. For instance, the device seems ideal for parents that want to track their teen drivers, allowing them to monitor both speed and location with realtime updates. The use of GPS makes it a reliable option, in my opinion, and the fact that the device doesn’t need to be professionally installed lowers the “big brother” factor that some might have with location-based tracking devices.

As for my device helping me to make the case that my wife speeds too much, she now acknowledges that she could slow down more often. But as far as her admitting I’m right, let’s just say the Zoombak device doesn’t work miracles.