Tracking the Wanderers

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Tracking the Wanderers

Durham College, Ontario

People with autism or dementia tend to wander, which puts them at risk — so knowing their whereabouts are being tracked 24/7 can give their caregivers peace of mind and help ensure the wandering one’s safety.

That’s why Strategic Smart Inc. developed WeTraq. Unlike other tracking tools that use Bluetooth or GPS, WeTraq is an “internet of things” device. That’s the phrase used to describe objects, from cars to heart monitors, which have embedded software and sensors capable of collecting data and sharing it.

WeTraq is a credit-card-sized device that works by connecting wirelessly to smart phones via its mobile app. Seamless interaction between the WeTraq device and the monitoring phone can be made through cellular, radio, GPS or wireless signals. Battery charges can last up to 28 days, depending on use. When it’s needed for tracking, the location of the WeTraq is locked with proprietary software, which works around the world. The location data is encrypted and sent wirelessly to servers before being sent to the caregiver through the WeTraq app.

The WeTraq project involved two Durham College computer science students, who were responsible for the back-end functionality and database management, and one graphic design student who created a visually appealing and easy-to-use interface. The students acquired new skills, including in-depth code breakdown and analysis, high-level programming, database management and all aspects of web development.

All the features of the device, including report scheduling, geofencing (a program for alerting caregivers when their charge steps outside a defined safe zone) and panic mode are managed by the mobile application.

Thanks to this project, Strategic Smart Inc. is selling its device to more customers and earning increased revenues.

Funding: NSERC, College and Community Innovation Program, Engage Grant
Partners: Strategic Smart Inc.

About Durham College
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