Stolen gotenna retrieval


#1

Is there a way that a lost or stolen gotenna can be tracked down via the app or something similar?


#2

Hi @Blaquejaque unfortunately this is not a feature that we currently offer. We don’t track individual devices so we wouldn’t know when/where your device is turned on.


#3

I would like to see this become an option in the app - so long the user has complete control over when it is on.


#4

Umm no I would NOT want any tracking.


#5

The Mesh Developers Toolkit (iOS) offers various mapping and tracking options, as do several other options that interface with the GTM. If such capability isn’t already native to these apps, it should be relatively trivial to come up with such a “call home” feature. This would obviously be something you’d have to take the trouble to enable.


#6

MikeL,

Being that I am not nearly as technically literate as many others in this community and do not own an iOS device, could you please share the “several other options” that interface with GTM? Also, it may be relatively trivial for you to come up with a “call home” feature, but it is certainly not within my wheelhouse. Thank you.


#7

There’s an app called GliderLink that provides situational awareness for groups of gliders seeking thermals. There’s a similar app for snowmobilers, but I forget its name right now. Neither is probably directly applicable to a feature like this, but demonstrate its feasibility. By “relatively trivial” I was suggesting simply that existing functionality shows little more is needed to make such a feature available. Mapping, tracking, and flagging are big parts of such a piece of software.

The part that’s left is mainly about figuring out how the goTenna decides if it’s stolen. If you assume the paired phone is stolen with its associated GTM, then the problem isn’t too difficult, because phones have such software in most cases this sort of app could glom onto.

If you want to recover just a stolen GTM, the problem will be harder, since there’s very little bandwidth and memory to work with in the device itself without association with a paired device and it is dependent on the cellphone for it’s GPS data; to further confuse matters, it could also be re-paired.

Note that I was only speaking of the possibilities. My wife is a software engineer, not me, so I am pretty careful about not saying things should be done a certain way, when what I’m saying is it could be done based largely on an existing template…

Ultimately, I’d ask, “Exactly how much demand is there for something like this?”


#8

As I have stated, my level of understanding in this field is minimal, so this question will probably seem naive. You said that the GTM is dependent on the paired cellphone for its GPS data (which I am assuming is logged in the companion app). Does this mean that there is no real way to have a GTM’s identifier linked to a particular device or owner? Is that why we do not need to “register” the device after it is delivered - because it cannot actually be registered to a particular person? If so, I find this to be a negative feature which would have weighed heavily against me purchasing the device - that and the inability to connect it to my Windows laptop PC to use with my various pieces of mapping software.


#9

I mean, I think the whole point is its decentralized. Registering it, and certainly tracking it would kind of go against its purpose of being a self-contained and independent communication device.


#10

So then, GoTenna does not pull any information at all back through their app? It’s all just for the purpose of serving up maps and letting people text each other… because if they are pulling any information back through the app, then I see no conflict with adding this small security feature. jmo


#11

You can choose to use a cell number as your GUID, in which case the GTM is pretty identifiable. But a specific GTM can be paired and unpaired, so it’s not a permanent identifier. Most users choose to use the 14-digit random number GUID. Again, if stolen this could be changed. Like many aspects of configuring your GTM, the user has a fairly wide latitude in how much they choose to reveal.

Many users actually prefer this sort of ambiguity. And there seems to be few, if any, issues related to theft at least as related in this community. If your use case suggests theft will be a problem, you should consider some means to secure the device as a more practical means to resolve this issue as that’s going to be far more straightforward, easier to implement, and cheaper than building a network solution.

The forthcoming SDK utilizes Python, so it will certainly has the potential to connect via USB to your Windows laptop.


#12

MikeL,
I am not sure how your previous answers applied to my most recent question, but no matter. It has become clear that I should try to return the pair of units for a refund or sell them for whatever I can get for them. I am certainly not “most people” in that I have a medical condition which has had a very negative effect on my memory - especially short-term. This means that things are frequently being misplaced and needing to be found. I bought the pair of GTM units mainly for increased safety when hiking (which it can provide) and with the assumption that such a GPS device would provide a more or less automatic method of finding it if lost or stolen (which it cannot). With the needed development of the app and device for use in unit self-locating, it seems best to get my money back now before the unit is lost with no hope for return. Thank you for taking the time to respond. It has been appreciated.


#13

Ah-ha, so you’re not so much worried about stolen as you are simply about it being lost.

For this need, apply a Tile or one of the other available GPS locator devices to your goTenna. Then you’d have to be able to locate your phone, of course, to use it to locate the Tile/goTenna, but that’s usually a feature of a phone; either you have a backup phone to do it or have someone else in the household who can use theirs do so.


#14

MikeL,
So, this “Tile” you are suggesting is a “smart key” or “nut” type device which would be attached to the GoTenna? Would they not interfere with each other? And no worries about losing my phone - I ALWAYS have it on me. Also, as you mentioned, locating it can be done using a built-in feature of the phone. And, yes, I do have a family member who has a backup phone (and keys and all vital info) if/when needed. There are the calls that I receive several times a day to “check in” on me. My wardrobe has become completely “pocketed” - so that I can keep everything close and make notes throughout the day of new tasks, appointments, keep business cards of new medical team members and others, etc. which then get moved to Outlook and then shared to my phone and through the cloud to my family. But I am sure that is much more than you wanted to know. This is why I do not like to mention my condition. I begin to ramble. :confused: Sorry… and thanks again. You are being more than helpful.


#15

I’m not getting any younger and the memory only gets duller. I manage, but can appreciate your situation.

Here’s a link to Tile: https://www.thetileapp.com/

It’s a small tag-like device that you can easily attach to whatever you want to keep track of. It works via Bluetooth (originally) but I see they have some newer products that may have other means to do this that give greater distance.

Other devices have more powerful features that rely on an internal GPS in the tracker. You have a lot of choices and what you need may depend on your phone and what’s best to interact with it. Here’s a overview:
https://www.toptenreviews.com/electronics/gps/best-gps-trackers/

Of course, since every goTenna Mesh has a strap, it’s pretty easy to attach a tracker conveniently.


#16

Thanks again, MikeL… for everything!
Greatly appreciated!
~ Lon (Diffie)