TRUSENSE GPS PEN­DANT

PCWorld (USA) - - Reviews | Gps Trackers For Kids -

Price: $129

Small, light­weight, and rel­a­tively sim­ple to set up, the Trusense GPS Pen­dant al­lows you to keep an eye on an el­derly loved one who’s in­firm or oth­er­wise in need of as­sis­tance. But while care­givers will ap­pre­ci­ate the pen­dant’s SOS but­ton and fall de­tec­tion, they’ll be frus­trated by the lack of a true mo­bile app to go with it.

De­sign

Mea­sur­ing about 2.5 x 1.75 x 0.6 inches and weigh­ing about 1.5 ounces, the Trusense GPS Pen­dant is about the size of a car key fob. It comes with both a lan­yard and a padded Vel­cro wrist strap. Wear­ing the pen­dant around your neck takes a lit­tle get­ting used to, but it doesn’t get it your way while walk­ing around the house or tak­ing a neigh­bor­hood stroll. You can even wear the wa­ter­proof pen­dant in the shower, although you should prob­a­bly take it off be­fore do­ing any laps in the pool.

On the pen­dant it­self is a power but­ton, a USB charg­ing port (which is hid­den be­neath a flexible plas­tic flap), and two tiny blue and green LEDS that in­di­cate charg­ing and sig­nal sta­tus. A com­pact charg­ing cra­dle and USB cable are in­cluded in the box.

Price and ser­vice cost

The Trusense GPS Pen­dant it­self costs $129, or

$49 if you pay for a year’s worth of ser­vice up front. On top of that, you’ll also have to shell out $25 per month for a ser­vice plan, which in­cludes un­lim­ited GPS track­ing and two-way calls with the Trusense Emergency Re­sponse Cen­ter. To pare down the monthly bill, you can opt for a three-month plan at $22.50 a month, a six­month sub­scrip­tion at $20 a month, or a year-long plan for $17.50 a month.

Setup

The first-time setup for the Trusense GPS Pen­dant is a rel­a­tively sim­ple process. In­side the pack­ag­ing is a card with an eight-digit reg­is­tra­tion code. Once you’ve cre­ated an ac­count on the Trusense web­site, you just in­put the code, then add the name, ad­dress, and phone num­ber for the per­son who will be wear­ing the pen­dant.

Next, you type in the in­for­ma­tion for the wearer’s emergency con­tact per­son (ei­ther you or some­one else), then en­ter a credit card num­ber for billing pur­poses.

Fi­nally, you turn the pen­dant on, put it in its charg­ing cra­dle (which, in­ci­den­tally, will au­to­mat­i­cally turn on the pen­dant the mo­ment it be­gins charg­ing), and press a Be­gin Ac­ti­va­tion but­ton on the Trusense web­site. As­sum­ing you have a good cel­lu­lar sig­nal at home, the ac­ti­va­tion should only take a few min­utes.

Track­ing and mon­i­tor­ing

The Trusense GPS Pen­dant re­ports its lo­ca­tion every few min­utes or so, which you can view on a Google-pow­ered map via the Trusense web­site.

Once logged into the Trusense web por­tal, you can view the de­vice’s cur­rent lo­ca­tion, de­tails on its bat­tery life and sig­nal strength, a log of re­cent trips, and whether the de­vice is sit­ting in its charger.

You can also set up ge­ofences around an un­lim­ited num­ber of lo­ca­tions, and you can set the Trusense ser­vice to no­tify you and/or an­other care­giver via SMS or a phone call

when­ever your tracked loved one ar­rives at or leaves a des­ig­nated lo­ca­tion.

In ad­di­tion to track­ing the pen­dant’s cur­rent lo­ca­tion, the Trusense por­tal keeps a log of trips that the de­vice has taken. That’s a handy fea­ture for keep­ing track of a loved one’s com­ings and go­ings, but it can also lead to un­in­tended con­se­quences in iffy cel­lu­lar coverage ar­eas. Dur­ing my test­ing, the Pre­vi­ous Trips log be­came clut­tered with dozens of trips, each span­ning any­where from 150 to 300 feet. The cul­prit: The spotty cel­lu­lar ser­vice in my apart­ment, re­sult­ing in herky-jerky lo­ca­tion read­ings that fooled the pen­dant into think­ing it was in tran­sit.

A big­ger prob­lem is the lack of a true mo­bile app to go with the Trusense pen­dant. For now, those track­ing loved ones with Trusense on an iphone or An­droid phone will have to do so on a browser. (Luck­ily, the Trusense site is mo­bile-friendly.)

We’d much pre­fer a na­tive mo­bile app that al­lowed for no­ti­fi­ca­tions and more stable per­for­mance. A Trusense rep told me the com­pany is in­deed work­ing on a mo­bile app, although it won’t ar­rive un­til later this year.

Call­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion

The Trusense GPS pen­dant fea­tures a large sil­ver ‘SOS’ but­ton. Press and hold the but­ton for three sec­onds, and the pen­dant will con­nect the wearer to Trusense’s 24x7 emergency re­sponse team.

Us­ing the pen­dant’s built-in speaker and mi­cro­phone, the pen­dant user can talk to the re­spon­ders and tell them if they need help. If you en­able an op­tional set­ting, the Trusense mon­i­tor­ing cen­ter will con­tact paramedics if the pen­dant wearer doesn’t re­spond, and they can’t reach any of the des­ig­nated emergency con­tacts.

The pen­dant also comes equipped with a fall de­tec­tor, which alerts Trusense’s emergency team along with any care­givers you’ve des­ig­nated if the de­vice thinks your loved one has col­lapsed. While the fall de­tec­tor is a

re­as­sur­ing fea­ture for those with el­derly par­ents liv­ing alone, it’s also prone to false alarms, par­tic­u­larly if you ac­ci­den­tally drop the pen­dant. Of course, if the pen­dant does hap­pen to slip through your fin­gers, you can sim­ply tell the Trusense re­sponse team via the de­vice’s built-in mi­cro­phone that you’re OK.

For more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about what’s hap­pen­ing at home, such as whether the friend or loved one you’re track­ing is ac­tu­ally wear­ing the pen­dant, or if they’ve been in a par­tic­u­lar room at home for an wor­ry­ingly long time, you’ll need to pony up $300 for the Trusense Home Starter Kit. The set bun­dles an Ama­zon Echo

Dot with a se­ries of mo­tion sen­sors, wall out­lets, and con­tact sen­sors. As you might ex­pect, it comes with a pricier monthly sub­scrip­tion plan that starts at $28 a month.

Ver­dict

The Trusense GPS Pen­dant makes for an easy, rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive way to keep tabs on an el­derly loved one, but the ex­pe­ri­ence of us­ing the de­vice would be greatly im­proved by a ded­i­cated mo­bile app. For now, you’ll have to make do with its mo­bile web in­ter­face’s some­times spotty per­for­mance.

Trusense GPS Pen­dant

The Trusense Pen­dant re­ports its lo­ca­tion every few min­utes or so.

The Trusense web por­tal dis­plays the cur­rent lo­ca­tion of the GPS pen­dant, along with a log of pre­vi­ous trips.

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