We have developed a working method to immediately detect and locate nearby, unknown personal trackers using only a combination of simply RF demodulation and a custom algorithm.
Personal trackers such as Apple’s AirTag®, Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag®, Tile Tracker® and others are being used to stalk people, track vehicles and trace packages for illegal purposes. This ubiquitous technology leverages billions of cellularly connected devices and Bluetooth low energy to create a tracking network that covers most of the planet's populated surface. Unlike more sophisticated active GPS and cellular-based tracking products, personal tracker technology is more affordable, easy to use and has a much longer battery life so it appeals to many people including criminals. Criminals benefit further through use of these proprietary networks which are also encrypted making it difficult for law enforcement to lawfully intercept, arrest and prosecute crimes used in conjunction with personal trackers.
Personal trackers are primarily designed to help locate items such as lost car keys or wallets but trackers such as Apple’s AirTag have been receiving negative press and headlines involving stolen vehicles, stalking and tracking illegal items beyond borders and the scope of law enforcement. In an effort to balance utility and safety for their customers, Apple’s AirTag algorithm creates a delay between the time an unknown AirTag leaves its owner’s vicinity and the time an alert is issued to someone else who might be unknowingly tracked by that same AirTag. This window of time has been reported to be anywhere from between several hours and up to 3 days. This delay is unacceptable for law enforcement professionals requiring immediate action in order to effectively enforce the law or anyone victimized and by stalking who require immediate action
We have upgraded an existing tool used to detect and locate wireless threats that we already sell to law enforcement, private investigators and government agencies. This handheld tool is called Yorkie-Pro and used primarily to detect unsecured Cellular, Wi-Fi, BT and BLE threats. Yorkie-Pro provides the perfect jumping off point and customer base for introduction of this new personal tracker feature. However, Yorkie-Pro is more of a “Swiss army knife” of receivers and has a high price point.
The next phase is to design a dedicated, low-cost personal tracker that detects, lists and sorts all nearby BLE devices so that users can easily identify and locate the devices that pose the most danger, namely, unknown personal trackers. This tool would contain a demodulating receiver, integrated directional antenna and a simple touchscreen interface. The unit would not only be the only solution of its kind on the market (besides Yorkie-Pro) but also affordable to a more diverse customer base including private detectives, victims of stalking crimes, bodyguards, local police as well as professional security personnel.
This dedicated tracker detector answers on of the biggest questions we all ask in this digital age. How can we ensure our own privacy and safety in this time of rampant interconnectedness?