Paco Lobatón became popular in the nineties as host of the reality television TVE nowhere, which remained on the air for seven seasons and whose mission was to find missing persons. Sixteen years after the end, the journalist remains committed to this drama, which causes between 14,000 and 20,000 complaints a year in Spain, through its QSDglobal foundation.
As to Sync explains, "10% of these remains unresolved disappearances. In addition, a significant portion-some thousand per year are carried out by older people with Alzheimer's. Many of them are later found dead a short distance from their homes because they are disoriented and do not know return ".
"10% of disappearances remains unresolved and a significant portion are carried out by people with Alzheimer's," says Lobatón
"It is unbearable having to be giving the news in the XXI century, when technology could help to avoid it," he says. "In the case of leakage of teenagers, the risks are much less predictable, but in older people with dementia more preventive measures should be taken. The problem is that tracking devices out there now, almost all US patent, are very expensive, "he adds.
In this search for technological solutions, through its foundation, Lobatón met some young Spanish engineers have developed a new, inexpensive and versatile than the ones currently on the market advanced GeoLocator. The device is specially designed for the location of children, elderly and dependent people in real time. "It is a device with a 'social DNA," says the journalist.
The social commitment of the speaker Lobatón was the germ of this new GeoLocator born.
Ivan Perez is founder and CEO of Geo.band, which in turn is the name given to the new device. The idea came from a personal experience a couple of years in the port of Mazarrón (Murcia) ago, while practicing diving, one of his favorite hobbies.
Geo.band is a GPS locator with a 1.3-inch screen. By installed in a mobile or tablet application, you can track in real time both people and pets and objects. / Olmo Calvo / Sync
"During a break, a group of divers into the water saw a girl of about ten years. We set out to rescue her, and once he was safe, we started asking questions, but did not answer. Then, when his family finally appeared, we knew that she had autism and had a tendency to escape. The mother said they could not afford to buy a locator because it was too expensive, "says the engineer.
From that moment, I began to investigate with his friend Francisco Mayol -ingeniero telecomunicaiones satellite and now COO Geo.band- on the possibility of developing a GeoLocator in real time affordable and more advanced features which they were marketed at that time. The result has been Geo.band due out this November.
"Two years ago, when we started working on the issue, locators with similar functions to our cost between 800 and 1,200 euros. Now, they are starting to come out products that are between 150 and 250 euros. Geo.band is less than 100 euros and give a more complete service, "says Perez.
Geo.band, with a price of about 100 euros, connects to the Internet through an integrated SIM card and allows tracking from mobile and tablets
It's a GPS locator with a 1.3-inch screen that connects to the Internet through an integrated SIM card. By installed in a mobile or tablet, or from the company web application, you can track in real time both people and pets and objects. Augmented reality functionality shows the trail on a map or on real images.
In addition, the company has reached agreements with global providers of Internet geolocalizar 133 countries that allow these places, even if the person is hundreds of kilometers away.
"Ultimately, this is like a mobile, if you go with your phone to another country, you pay a roaming or share data. We have done that is all inclusive. Purchasing the equipment, you sign up as a customer and, with a flat fee of five euros per month, will work both in Spain and in all countries where our suppliers operate. No need to pay any extra, "he says.
Thus, the company not only develops the technology but also provides the service. "We have our own APN (access point name) and will be something of a virtual mobile operator for our users," he adds.
The geologalizador with different adapters.
The team wanted the device very versatile. As Perez explains, "current geolocators are very focused on children. Ours is designed for a wider range of people. A person with Alzheimer's or dementia are not going to put a child will watch. " Therefore, it can be converted into a wristwatch, a key ring or pendant. If you want to use to locate belongings, just put it in a box that can go in a suitcase or tied, for example, a vehicle.
The service is offered with a flat fee of five euros per month and work in Spain and in all countries in which suppliers operate
The device includes motion sensors (accelerometers) to detect if someone falls or has an accident. Is if a person is still long for the day or also places to walk at night.
Geo.band creators have used existing European technology sensors. "What we have done is all the device design, software programming and server components, as well as mobile application and algorithms that learn user behavior," explains the CEO.
Another innovation that has been introduced is that the battery can last up to a week. This is achieved in that, although it offers a real-time monitoring is not necessary that the person is located 24 hours a day, but at the time it wants to find. "If a child always goes to school in the same area Monday through Friday, or a person is in a day care center, you are learning algorithms and the system knows that in some places there is less danger of going astray" It indicates.
From the server all the data, the history of that person or pet and, accordingly, it follows when it has left the security zone established look. The system also has a panic button.
New services and collective funding
Entrepreneurs have already thought about creating new services around the device, for example, "could include options such as medication alerts," says Perez. To do this, they plan to work with nursing homes and day centers. They also want to create specific applications for children and they are talking to institutions dedicated to children and kindergartens.
The service allows real-time location on a map or on real images of the place. / Geo.band
The company, based in Malaga and a staff of just six people, plans to manufacture its gadgets in various parts of Spain through agreements with factories engaged in electronic component assembly.
The device has the support of the foundation is looking Lobatón institutional aid for distribution free of charge to people without resources
Geo.band plans to have a strong international presence and is negotiating agreements with distributors in the US and Latin American countries like Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela.
To carry out these projects, the team has launched a campaign of collective financing of investment--crowdfunding through Crowdcube platform. "Our goal is to achieve economies of scale and lower the GeoLocator as possible. We also need to strengthen the team, especially on the business side, to meet our goals and reach the maximum number of people, "says Perez.
Geo-band also has the support of the foundation is looking QSDglobal institutional aid for free distribution device among people without resources. "There is no better market study which has made Paco Lobatón during his years looking for missing persons. Known for the drama of families and we conveyed the need for a technology of low-cost location that functions as a kind of belt. When we put it, do not expect anything to happen, but if it occurs, can save us, "he concludes.
Geo.band team is studying a specific use of the device before it can be used as protection in cases of domestic violence. "Although there are now mobile applications for this purpose, with current technology, if an aggressor is the victim and look for the mobile, unlock, search for the app and activate it, there is no time. And those minutes can be fatal, "says the CEO.
Geo.band has a panic button "when the person sees the perpetrator, you can press it immediately sends the alert and is already geopositioning" he adds.
According to Ivan Perez, if you end up throwing the project with state security forces, after receiving the alert, the police may go to the site immediately and the relatives who that person is given access will also be informed.
In the same vein, the company is in the early stages of a project to improve the security of women in parts of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, through a local company working with the Indian government. The project includes the creation of an office in India to 50% between that company and Geo.band.
In this case, you would use a basic version of Geo.band panic button that would send alerts to the police with real-time location of the hazard.