Tracking devices fitted to high-value cars have been around for a number or years but now it’s possible to have the devices attached to your bike, cunningly hidden within an ordinary-looking back light.
Spylamp is a covert tracking device hidden inside a rear light that visually and functionally appears similar to any other.
To activate the tracker the user simply holds down the on/off button for three seconds. Any subsequent movement of the bike will trip a sensor and trigger an instant SMS message as well as starting the tracking function allowing the owner to see where their machine is located.
The vibration-activated tracker uploads its coordinates to a free online service, with owners able to log on to the WhereIsIt page to monitor the device’s whereabouts.
The Spylamp comes with a hardened steel wire cable that loops around the seatpost and the makers say it is not possible for a casual thief to unscrew the clamp or to break the light away from its mounting.
The tracker will also transmit its coordinates to the owner via text messaging. You can send the tracker a text message and it will reply with its GPS coordinates or it can be configured to send its coordinates at regular intervals.
If the bike is taken to a place where the tracker cannot lock on to the GPS network it goes into a mobile phone GSM positioning fall back mode which, although only accurate to within 200m, will at least give an indication of where a bike is located.
When moved back to a position where the tracker can provide a GPS location, accurate tracking can resume, assuming the subterfuge has not been discovered and the tracker separated from the bike, that is.
The light itself can also act as a trigger. If a thief uses the bike, the tracker will check if it is stolen by sending its coordinates to your phone.
The light uses a rechargeable lithium battery and comes with a charging cord. The battery can go for a year between charges by entering a sleep mode.
All configuration is done by sending the unit SMS text messages and once installed, it should not need require further configuration.
The device requires a SIM card and the makers recommend a pay-as-you-go card which can be topped up as and when required.