"2021 has certainly become the year of the GPS tracker, and we're attributing this upshift to a number of things. "
Shaun Carse, Director of Trackershop UK
Once something only associated with super cars and James Bond films (remember the homing pill in Thunderball), GPS tracking devices are now being used to provide additional security to a wide range of the UK’s valuables – including people with dementia.
Particularly popular at the moment, according to Trackershop which is one of the UK’s biggest specialists in GPS tracking devices, are Dementia Trackers, trackers for caravans and motorhomes as the nation ‘staycates’ rather than vacates overseas and plant machinery trackers. The company has also reported a big rise in the types of requests it’s receiving – including a spike in enquiries for trackers for pets, garden furniture and even art installations.
Commenting, Shaun Carse, Director of Trackershop UK says:
“2021 has certainly become the year of the GPS tracker, and we’re attributing this upshift to a number of things.
“Undoubtedly, the advances in technology associated with these devices and improved battery life has made adding a tracker to a wider variety of belongings much easier and effective – and word is spreading.
“The cost of deploying a global positioning satellite (GPS) tracker now less than £30 in some cases, further reducing barriers to entry and making the investment extremely worthwhile given its success rate in improving chances of recovery.
“We’re also a lot more familiar with tracking technology now – thousands of people are using wearable tech such as fitness trackers or enjoying the benefits of Find My Phone features to locate smart devices, so using location services to better protect vulnerable items is much more ‘the norm’. And more and more insurers now insist on trackers.
“The Covid pandemic has also played a role in driving up demand.
“When the UK went into lockdown on 23rd March 2020 it sparked a seismic shift in our short and longer term behaviours. In an instant building sites were left empty, caravans were left deserted on holiday homes or driveways and cars were parked up for weeks on end. Certain possessions became vulnerable to thieves who quickly exploited the opportunity, for example targeting unattended construction sites which lead to a 50% spike in thefts in the plant machinery sector alone.
“We have seen sales of caravan and motorhome trackers rocket in line with the boom in the market, a result of the ban on foreign travel. Very similar to the plant machinery sector, caravans and motorhomes are high value vehicles that can be quickly and easily demarked. In 2020 caravan and motor home thefts increased significantly with more than £1 million worth of stolen vehicles recovered by one tracking specialist alone.
“With high spec motorhomes selling for more than £80,000, GPS trackers are now a condition of many caravan and motorhome insurers. Trackers significantly increase the chance of these vehicles being recovered and are an extremely cost-effective security solution.”
“Most significantly though was the impact the pandemic and lockdowns had on our personal connections. Families with older, and sometimes vulnerable members, were unable to provide the support and care that they had previously. This left leaving people living with illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s more cut off from care providers than ever before.
“Dementia trackers have become widely sought after as a means to provide added peace of mind for family members and carers of vulnerable people. Small and discreet, trackers can be magnetically pinned to clothing or carried in pockets, bags, on belt loop or as a keyring.
“Using the latest advanced mapping technology, dementia trackers allow for real-time tracking of vulnerable people which can be monitored from a phone or any computer at all times. A full journey history is also automatically recorded and available for access at any time, whilst multiple safety and security zone alerts can also be set up with instant notifications when activated.
“This technology really does have the potential to save lives, not to mention the ongoing peace of mind that it is bringing to carers who are able to ensure that their loved ones are safe 24/7.”
Shaun Carse added: “Whilst thieves are becoming more sophisticated in what they are targeting, the technology is always one-step ahead which is why GPS is set to play a really crucial role in protecting belongings, and also people, into the future.
“Last year, the global GPS tracker market was worth £1.2 billion and it is expected to reach £3.5 billion by 2028, which reflects our own experience of significant increases in sales.
“The past 12-18 months have also driven conditions for this advanced technology to go mainstream.
People are realising the benefits of installing a small tracking device on their valuable possessions and that it’s not just a technology for supercars and commercial vehicles. From golf clubs and luggage; to beloved pets, a herd of cows, bee hives and a violin case – we have had enquiries for all sorts of uses. And the technology and devices that we have available today mean that we can fulfil most of these requests.”