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Hardware Hacking

Making a Child Locating System 1092

celtic_hackr writes "Well, I never thought I'd be an advocate for placing GPS devices on people. However, since it took less than three days for my local school district to misplace my daughter, I have decided that something needs to be done. By the school district's own admission it has a recurring problem of placing children on the wrong buses. Fortunately, my daughter was located, with no thanks to the local school district. Therefore, I would like input on a way to be able to keep track of my child. I know there are personal tracking devices out there. I have nothing against these systems. But I want more than this. My specification are: 1) a small unobtrusive device I can place on my daughter, 2) an application to pull up on any computer, a map with a dot indicating the real-time position of my child, 3) a handheld device with the equivalent information, 4) [optional] a secure web application/plug-in I can install on my own domain allowing me to track her from anyplace in the world, 5) a means of turning it all off, 6) a Linux based solution of the above. I believe all the pieces for making such a system are out there. Has anyone built anything like this? Is there an open source solution? How would I go about building my own? Has anyone hacked any of these personal trackers before, to serve their own purposes? How does a tinfoil hat wearer engineer such a device to make sure Big-Brother isn't watching too? Can these devices be locked down so only certain devices can pick up the GPS location of an individual locator? What other recommendations do you have?"

Leveraging always beats prototyping.