**Update on September 20th** - It was kind of fitting (based on my previous article) that Jessie, Hank and Gomez used the GPS co-ordinates from Walt's phone to track his location. If Hank would have used the same technology before on Gustavo Fring, the show would have been much shorter and not nearly as exciting!!
Please send me your predictions as to how the show ends....larry(@) novotech.com. We will give a shout out in a future blog to anyone who guesses correctly by September 28th.
For some of you, you won't understand this reference. It refers to AMC's hit show, "Breaking Bad". For my money, it is the best show on TV, and I am very sad to know that we are in the final few episodes.
In the show, Walter (played brilliantly by Bryan Cranston) is to most people, a mild mannered high-school science teacher who has recently recovered from cancer. Hank (who is Walter's brother-in-law, and a DEA agent) is after a criminal mastermind who goes by the name "Heisenberg", who ironically is Walter.
In an earlier episode, Hank introduces Walter to a primitive USB-based GPS solution that is used by amateurs (it has no ability to transmit locations remotely, requiring the device to be tethered to a laptop). So, I wonder...would better M2M-based solutions help agents like Hank catch criminals (like Heisenberg) more effectively?
Most people have seen traditional CCTV / video solutions. These solutions provide real-time feedback and are ideal for full-size cameras with hard-wired connections. Over the past years, we have seen a great development in better form factors for wireless, better battery life for remote deployments and better use of telematics in video applications.
It used to be that video surveillance equipment always looked like cameras. Now, we are seeing mobile video cameras getting down to incredibly small sized.....We now are seeing the cameras that only James Bond used to have!
Recently, telematics / analytics have allowed for better usage of video surveillance. Telematics allows for video recordings to be triggered by things such as motion, the presence of a vehicle or temperature (such as the heat of a human on a cold night, using thermo-imaging) to optimize battery usage and to prevent watching hours of irrelevant video feeds. Analytics allow for much more intelligence on video......to tell the difference between a deer and a human or tell if a package has been left in an area too long (heavily used in airport security).
As mentioned, Hank's solution was quite primitive. In his defense, it was not an authorized DEA solution (as I would suspect that the DEA would have some pretty sophisticated stuff!). Many Law Enforcement agencies have used magnetic based GPS tracking units for a long time for a number of reasons. First, these units have been placed under the car of vehicles of known criminals, often done at car dealerships at the time of a scheduled oil change, to allow for more discrete placements. Next, many police forces have used GPS-based solutions as "bait cars" (highly valuable cars that are placed in known high-theft areas, to entice a thief to steal the unit). Once the unit is stolen, the criminal is identified by a hidden video camera and the location of the unit is given in real time to allow for its capture. Finally, small GPS tracking units have been placed in various "bait bags", to track items used in the "sting" operations by Law Enforcement (such as in bag of money, narcotics and firearms).
The reality is that even the most high-tech solutions might not have helped Walt find out that his brilliant school-teaching brother-in-law was in fact the criminal mastermind that he was searching for all along. This doesn't mean that these solutions don't have value for every day Law Enforcement professionals.
To all the Breaking Bad fans out there.....let's hope that the show ends as well as it has started!
As always, let Novotech know how we can help with your M2M needs, such as antenna selection. I encourage you to browse our website @ www.novotech.com or feel free to reach out to me directly ....larry(@)novotech.com. You can also follow us on Twitter (@NovotechM2M) and you can follow me personally as well (@LBNovotechM2M).