Big Dog-Designed Software Receives U.S Patent

  • May 2017
  • Read Time: 4 Mins

Big Dog-Designed Software Receives U.S Patent

We’ve just received some exciting news in the world of TracknStop today. Last month, TracknStop was granted its full patent in the U.S.A. This means that the TracknStop system is now registered as a fully patented technology by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As a result, Big Dog’s very own Tristan Fagan – who is Lead Software Engineer at TracknStop – is now listed as a bonafide inventor alongside co-founders Michael Doherty and Stephen Kehoe.

What is TracknStop?

With its integrated GPS tracking system and specialized remote technology, TracknStop allows you to track your vehicle’s movements on your Smartphone or tablet and to personally disable its engine. Designed for use with your Smartphone or laptop – or any Internet-accessible device – TracknStop makes protecting your vehicle easier than ever before.

Our Design

– Software Design & Build

In order to realize the technical requirements of the TracknStop service, Lead Software Engineer Tristan Fagan needed to design and develop a customized software system. So how exactly does this system work?

Firstly, an immobilization command is sent from Tracknstop’s web server via SMS, USSD and/or GPRS using a cloud-based gateway to the installed tracking device.

Then, a command sent from the TracknStop system is coded to communicate with the tracking device installed within the vehicle to request a relay wired into the vehicle to cut the ignition or incrementally cut the fuel pump. An ignition stop command requests the ignition not work again after the vehicle is next stopped until a re-enable command is sent to the vehicle through the through TracknStop to the tracking device. A fuel stop command is sent in the same way which thereafter pings the fuel pump several times which brings the vehicle to a controlled incremental stop while it is in motion. This fuel stop method avoids bypassing any manufacturer’s installed safety systems and vehicle fuses.

Track

The tracking elements consist of a device attached to a car which sends GPS and USSD/GPRS signal feed to enable the mapping location of the vehicle through a computer or smartphone, through a unique APP.

The tracking unit sends TCP packets of information to the TracknStop GPRS/TCP server at a set interval (for example, every 30 seconds). Each time a packet is received, the server follows this process:

  • Validates the source of the data packet
  • If data source is verified: Parses the information within the packet
  • Stores the information in the application database
  • The data is stored based on the device it was sent from, time of report,
  • Latitude/Longitude Co-ordinates, current speed, direction, etc

Location Mapping
Location mapping can be accessed through a computer, Smartphone or tablet with global real-time tracking.

Location Mapping is displayed within the Web Application using the Google Maps API in conjunction with the location records stored in the application database. When the user selects to view the current location of their vehicle, the web application follows this process:
Queries the database for the selected vehicles most recent location record
Displays the vehicle location based on the Longitude and Latitude values returned from the database for that particular vehicle

Motion Alerts via text message
Speed change or unusual movements, with early warning while the vehicle is being broken into or being stolen.

Geofence / Safety Zone
Text message alerts of early warnings if the vehicle is being stolen if it leaves a safety zone.

GSM Jamming detection
Automatic fuel pump disabling & ignition with alert sent and activity report.

Activity history and reporting
The web application allows the user to query two types of history:

  • Location History
  • Device History

– Mobile App

Big Dog Digitial were asked to design and build an easy-to-use and intuitive application that would be possible to use across all platforms, from Smartphone to Tablet to home computer. Not only that, however, but this application would have to integrate with the TracknStop hardware within a vehicle. We met that challenge.

Once logged in to the TracknStop administration area designed by Big Dog, the car owner is capable of performing a number of tasks. From locating and monitoring their vehicle’s location on an interactive map, to setting up geo-fences and managing their account, the user is given full control over their vehicle’s safety and security. Unlike other services, however, our design is built with the everyday user firmly in mind. With an attractive and clean layout, and extremely user-friendly design, our application is perfect for today’s tech-savvy car owner.

– Site Design

Alongside the TracknStop app, we were also called upon to design TracknStop.com. Built using WordPress’s Content Management System, our new site provides first-time visitors with all the information they require on TracknStop’s groundbreaking new service. We have also ensured that tracknstop.com is capable of being viewed on a wide range of platforms. Drawing on the techniques of responsive design, we have ensured that our client’s website will re-scale automatically to fit whatever device it’s being viewed on, whether be it iPad, smartphone or laptop.

The US Patent can be viewed online here

Nathan Fagan

As our in-house media production professional, Nathan’s primary responsibility is to produce and create high-quality video content for our clients. Alongside his role at Big Dog, Nathan is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and editor. His 2015 short documentary, 'Fallen Bird', won the Audience Award for Best Short Documentary at the IFI Documentary festival and screened at numerous Irish and international festivals. He has just completed his latest documentary, 'Hum'.

Dublin, Ireland https://www.bigdog.ie