By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Over-the-counter automatic car locators that allow any user to trace their car's movement via the Internet are fast becoming a new aftermarket category.
Immobiliser, Houston, and AutoStart, Montreal, are the latest companies to debut an automatic car locator, joining Audiovox and DEI, which announced new products at CES last month.
With Immobiliser's new tracker, called the GPS Vision, users type in an ID and password on their computer and a message is sent via the Internet to the vehicle's GPS Vision, which instantly retrieves data such as location, speed and direction of travel. The information is then downloaded back to a pager or e-mail.
According to new business development VP Jack Brothers, GPS Vision sends back "a digital map, and gives instant access to the location of your vehicle, versus a LoJack where you have to file a police report. So the individual is in control."
GPS Vision can be wired to a car alarm, and then the unit will send the user a message every time the alarm goes off.
The tracker began a pilot test in Houston earlier this month, and dealers are now being enlisted for a national launch in 90 to 180 days, said Brothers. Target dealers include new and used car dealers, aftermarket security retailers, and marine and RV retailers.
Immobiliser's GPS Vision uses Motorola technology and MCI WorldCom's SkyTel two-way paging network, as well as new wireless Internet technology from Elite Logistics, Freeport, Texas. It carries a suggested retail price of $895.
AutoStart's new tracker is designed to work with any type of starter kill, remote starter or security system. Using a cellular phone, GPS and Internet technology, it notifies the user by phone, e-mail or pager in the event an anti-theft system is breached and allows users to track their vehicle via the Internet.
Called the Vigil, AutoStart's car locator will ship this month at a suggested retail price of $695, plus a monthly fee of $12.95.
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