I am looking to design and manufacture a personal gps or gsm based personal tracking device.
I have a partner who will be designing the software piece, so I only need the physical tracking device designed. I will have software designed based on google maps software. The software will be an online application. We will also have applications designed for iOS and Android Devices.
The device will be employed by users mailing packages and traveling with luggage. I am not really concerned with the ability to track while the device is in the air, but more concerned with the ability to track while it is on the ground and in a vehicle. I guess the best way to explain what I am doing is that when you mail a package via fedex, ups, or dhl; they give you a tracking number. The downside is that you are only able to track where the package was last registered by the shipping company. I want my users to be able to track the device in real time. In my mind, if it were GSM based would it send a signal anywhere a cell phone would receive service? The main use will be to eliminate an air passenger's fear of losing their luggage and a business fearing that shipping a time sensitive package will get lost or not arrive on time. Someway we will need to determine how to power the device down remotely once it is onboard an aircraft. I do know that the FAA is now considering allowing electronic devices to be on during flight, so it may be a nonissue. As far as application of the GPS tracker; I would like for two models to be produced, but I will go further with a third model and further describe that model at the end. One will be for personal use should be no larger than 10cm X 7cm X 2cm. One will be more for industrial use and can be larger. The device for industrial use will need to have a battery long enough for 24 hours of use along with a solar panel for recharging the battery during the day so that it may run on battery during the evening. It will be sold to maritime shipping companies and trucking companies. The use for trucking companies will be for fleet management and should record location and speed. It will be housed on a bracket on top of the cab of the truck or the roof of a trailer. The use for maritime will be a battery powered device that can be integrated onto containers so that the contents of the container can be tracked by the company who is shipping their goods, as well as the end user. This will likely be the most difficult to develop and implement due to the way that shipping containers are loaded onto the container ship. If it turns out that this will be to expensive to produce, I will scrap that particular application. The industrial module should be able to operate continuously and track position and speed.
The third gps product will be licensed to shoe manufacturers and inserted into the soles or into the tongues of childrens' shoes. This device will need to be small enough to fit in the shoes of a child or elderly person who may suffer from a mental disease. The parents of the child will never worry about losing their child in a shopping mall or sporting event. The care takers will never have to worry about losing an elderly patient.
As far as manufacturing; do you have manufacturing capabilities? What do you anticipate the cost per unit to mass produce would be (realizing that quantity ordered dictates price, lets assume 1000 units for the first year.)?