By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
InterTrak announced it is delivering a new automatic vehicle locator, one of the first to reach the market that enable free stolen-vehicle recovery services, according to the company.
The new InterTrak system is being offered through 12-volt mobile retailers as well as expediters and fleets. The company, based here, is currently setting up a manufacturer's rep network for the 12-volt aftermarket, and hopes to sign up 500 retailers by the end of the year, according to VP of sales and marketing Barnet Fagel.
InterTrak uses a GPS/cellular-based locator supplied by Aegis, which has a suggested retail price of $695. The cellular service is over the AerisNet network, which uses MicroBurst technology. Aeris.net is less expensive than standard cellular service because it sends data over the data "control" channel from other cellular carriers.
Explains Fagel, "Cellular networks have a voice channel and then there's a control channel that, before you initiate a call, allows certain things, such as making sure your bill is paid up before placing the call. These control channels are not used once you place the call. Aeris developed a method of taking advantage of that airtime so we can send data in small packs for very little money. So there's no traditional monthly cellular bill. You pay a sign up fee to activate the phone and if you don't want any additional services, you get stolen vehicle and car jacking service free for three years."
The service does not offer stolen vehicle notification, however. Users must first report the stolen vehicle via an 800 number and then InterTrak locates and tracks the vehicle.
InterTrak offers a range of additional features and service plans based on the number of "communications" with the vehicle rather than the services provided. All plans include remote arm/disarm, remote lock/unlock, remote horn and lights flashing, remote start, car location over the Internet or via an 800 number, vehicle history tracking, automatic remote detection if the vehicle is being towed, notification if the vehicle exceeds a predetermined speed for a predetermined period, and low battery warning. The service plans run from $9.95 for 10 communications per month to $38.95 for 200 communications per month.
InterTrak is marketing the system as a "family protection system," Fagel said, noting that it has added safety features including a backup battery "which Mercedes and Onstar do not have." Additional optional services are available under a "LifeTrak" service. This service includes an optional sensor that can detect front, rear, side and rollover incidents. In case of an accident, InterTrak attempts to contact the owner's cellphone and, if unable, will dispatch paramedics or the police. The LifeTrak option will be available early in the fourth quarter at a price to be announced.
Also available is a "Heartbeat" feature in which InterTrak tests the locator unit once a month and if it can't raise the unit after three attempts, contacts the owner.
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