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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,617
16,757
This New York Times article reveals what Steve Wozniak has been up to with his new company -- Wheels of Zeus.

wireless location-monitoring technology that would use electronic tags to help people keep track of their animals, children or property.

The company is set to launch their first products next year which will carry the name "WozNet". WozNet is described as a wireless network that uses a combination of radio signals and GPS (Global Positioning Satellites) to be able to track the inexpensive (<$25/tag) tags. The tracking appears limited to within one to two miles of each "base station". Base stations would have to be installed at the various locations that users would want to keep track of items. (schools, parks etc...)
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,558
0
VA
Has potential, but not exactly something to get all that excited about.

I guess the first case of dog-napping or kidnapping that gets solved by using this system will cause all pet owners/parents to go out and get them.

Then when you turn 18 can you get them removed ;)

D
 

MetallicPenguin

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2003
409
0
NC, USA
I'm not sure if we're talking about tags, or like under-skin tags, I guess it would be under the skin since it mentioned animals but still I really don't like the idea of putting tags in your children....mostly because I am one and I think it's quite unneeded.

Update: 'm pretty sure it's not because in the picture in the article the chip Woz is holding is pretty big
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,681
665
Colly-fornia
That's it? Tracking your pets? I thought Woz would be doing something more groundbreaking than that. Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems kinda, well, anticlimactic from the guy who helped bring us apple.
 

crenz

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2003
617
16
Shanghai, China
Hmm... I can see a lot of privacy issues with this one if it's going to be used for children. Not sure whether it would be so helpful against a kidnapper if he can just bring the child out of the reach of a "base station"... but it sure would be good for not-so-benevolent parents to monitor their kids!
 

MetallicPenguin

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2003
409
0
NC, USA
Yeah I could see it working with laptops or something though, I won't want to lose it when I buy mine. But then again what are the chances someone will steal it?
 

Alexander

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2003
96
0
Palo Alto, CA
I think the really interesting thing here is that if this works (which it may not), they will have effectively set up a nationwide low-speed data network for free.
 

Sonofhaig

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2003
227
0
Greenvale, NY
Originally posted by MetallicPenguin
......but still I really don't like the idea of putting tags in your children....mostly because I am one and I think it's quite unneeded.

Tell that to a parent that has had his child taken from them.
I think it's the future. Regardless of those who like quoting
REVELATIONS and referring to the "mark of the beast".

This will be a successful venture.
 

job

macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2002
3,794
3
in transit
I'm not trying to turn this into a pseudo-political thread, but what's to stop the US Government or other governements from using this sort of technology to track individual citizens?
 

whfsdude

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2002
564
9
Washington DC
Originally posted by Sonofhaig
Tell that to a parent that has had his child taken from them.
I think it's the future. Regardless of those who like quoting
REVELATIONS and referring to the "mark of the beast".

This will be a successful venture.

The fact that the government is a noob when it comes to computers :D
 

4409723

Suspended
Jun 22, 2001
2,221
0
Originally posted by whfsdude
The fact that the government is a noob when it comes to computers :D

Well they can't be too nooby because without the US government's initial funding to link their weapon's facilities, there would be no internet.
 

Kid Red

macrumors 65816
Dec 14, 2001
1,417
148
Wow, a low jack for scruffy. What a dumb idea. I am a parent and I won't be utilizing this technology on my child, it's very limited in thwarting kidnapping anyway.
 

eric_n_dfw

macrumors 68000
Jan 2, 2002
1,511
58
DFW, TX, USA
Originally posted by Sonofhaig
Tell that to a parent that has had his child taken from them.
I think it's the future. Regardless of those who like quoting
REVELATIONS and referring to the "mark of the beast".

This will be a successful venture.
I don't think he was saying people would have religious reasons to avoid this system - I thin khe meant that parents should be more aware of where their kids are.

That being said, as the father of a 22 month old and a christian, I think the idea is great. I just don't know how practical the base station instalation is.

BTW - Anyone who says things like, "it's the number of the beast", doesn't know what they are talking about. (That's a whole other discussion though!)
 

eric_n_dfw

macrumors 68000
Jan 2, 2002
1,511
58
DFW, TX, USA
Originally posted by Kid Red
Wow, a low jack for scruffy. What a dumb idea. I am a parent and I won't be utilizing this technology on my child, it's very limited in thwarting kidnapping anyway.
While I disagree with the "dumb" comment, I do agree that it has a very limited capability to thwart kidnapping. Short of surgical implantation, any device like this would be pretty easy to find and remove by the kidnapper. (And borg-ifying my son by implanting it doesn't sound to my liking either)

(As for the Scruffy low-jack comment - I won't be buying it for my dog either... I WISH she would run away ;) ;) :rolleyes: )
 

Freg3000

macrumors 68000
Sep 22, 2002
1,914
0
New York
A 1 to 2 mile radius is not that big. you would need a lot of base stations installed first before this might catch on. But once you get past that, there were a lot of things this is good for. I mean, how many things do you lose all the time? You keys, wallet, cell phone? Or how about more important things, like notebooks and children? Not groundbreaking in my book, but cool nonetheless.
 

markomarko

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2002
73
1
Edmonton, Alberta
would be great for the cattle industry

Especially for calving season. Ranchers could get to new calves much quicker, by finding their GPS-tagged mothers. Would also help put an end to cattle wrangling. It still happens believe it or not.
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
I think we are starting to catch on to the potential of this thing. When I first glanced at it, it seemed like an anti kidnapping thing that might not work. But the keys and cattle are great uses for this. Imagine if they could use rendezvous to make every active laptop a base station. Nothing would ever get lost again.

All they have to do is make the chips small and cheap enough to put on anything.

P-Worm
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,479
Palookaville
Ensign Kim is on C Deck

I can imagine a lot of potential applications for this technology, some already mentioned, and not all "big brother is watching" sorts of deals. A lot will depend on the accuracy, range and reliability of the technology. Okay Woz, you've got my attention... again.
 

SubGothius

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2003
56
0
Tucson, AZ
FWIW, Re: tagging kids, I don't see it as primarily a kidnapping-thwarter, what with the limited range, tho' could help if the kid gets napped before your very eyes, so you know they're napped and can track 'em before they get outta range (and/or the napper finds and removes the tag -- I don't see these things likely being implanted :).

Rather, I see it being used more around the neighborhood to help answer that eternal question, "Now that dinner's ready, where's my kid run off to? At the park, the corner store, the library, one of several playmates...?" Or similarly, while shopping at the mall or mega-mart, or out camping on vacation, at local festivals/fairs...
 

Flowbee

macrumors 68030
Dec 27, 2002
2,944
0
Alameda, CA
Originally posted by Wonder Boy
sounds cool, im always losing my keys and wallet.

Wireless electronic locator:
http://www.sharperimage.com/us/en/catalog/productview.jhtml?pid=45937300&pcatid=1&catid=108

I certainly hope for Woz's sake that there are more ground-breaking applications for this technology than what are discussed in the article. Sounds like it might be an expensive way to keep track of your pet, and an ineffective way to keep track of your kids. There are already solutions for keeping track of your keys and cars.
 

Jon the Heretic

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2003
253
20
Actually, I think this is fantastic, especially at $25 a pop! Low cost would be vital to its success. I imagine the tags could probably be engraved too, which means they could serve as traditional ID tags as well.

Range: You guys need the Vision Thing(tm)...base stations are going up everywhere at an incredible rate. The government might even set up a few at popular demand, but private industry would drive this further than anything Uncle Sam could do.

Privacy: Dogs lick their own crotches. Privacy is irrelevant. For children: This is elective; don't use it if you don't want it. For those of us who see the merit in this, I don't think think the privacy of children outweigh's the prerogative of the parent to act as the steward of their children and their children's interests.

Other uses: hiding these tags in cars and elsewhere could really foil a lot of would be thieves. And they are cheap. Buy several.

Potential abuses that I see: Sniffers (mobile units for sniffing out the tags) could be used to LOCATE children and or valuables MORE EASILY for nefarious purposes. The same sniffer might make it trivial to remove the tag once the child or object has been located. They'd have to work on how to avoid this...
 

Flowbee

macrumors 68030
Dec 27, 2002
2,944
0
Alameda, CA
Originally posted by Jon the Heretic
Actually, I think this is fantastic, especially at $25 a pop! Low cost would be vital to its success.

It's $25 to *manufacture* the tag. The retail price will probably be much higher. There is also the cost of the 'base station' and probably a subscription service of some kind (though that's just my speculation). Don't expect this to be a cheap way to keep track of your dog.
 
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