GPS can help you find more than just your way

WASHINGTON — Losing your stuff — whether it’s a bike or a backpack with your iPad in it — can leave you with a helpless feeling. But the advance of technology means some things which might have been lost forever can now be found in seconds.

“We can now monitor just about anything and keep track of it,” said Jim Barry, digital answerman with the Consumer Electronics Association.

GPS trackers are popular for bike owners who want a way to find bikes after they are stolen. Barry says a market has opened for smart locks and trackers which can be placed on bikes. Some devices are large; others, small enough that crooks won’t see them when they take off with your bicycle.

Barry says some people use them to track missing or stolen handbags or purses, too. “There’s lots of little GPS trackers — some tiny ones that you can put in just about anything,” he said.

The devices are also being used to track children, older adults and even pets, Barry said. Some are placed in clothing; for pets, a GPS tracker can go in the animal’s collar.

The smaller the devices get, the more they cost, Barry said: “They range from $30 on up to $150.”

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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