The Chainlink

Wasn't there a company promoting a similar product for bikes recently on chainlink? 

This application and hardware combo may solve the problem of size (needs to be small and discrete) and battery (never needs replacing, lasts one year before replacing whole chip).  

http://www.thetileapp.com

Remaining questions:

1. could it be well enough hidden as to remain on the bike? Perhaps beneath the seat? glued to bottom of BB? 

2. It requires a dense user base to track your stolen goods (another tile-user has to randomly pass within 50 feet of your lost bike for the bluetooth 4.0 signal to be pinged back to the cloud and then to your iPhone). Might not be feasible until a certain max density is reached. 

But I like the hardware and concept a lot better than that bottle cage device.  

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Just ordered the Trackr. There's also a newer version coming out, the Trackr Bravo. I used the link that someone posted above and selected the "Buy additional Trackr for $24.99" option. So, I'll be receiving two for that price since the first is free. I would encourage cyclists to download the app to widen the network of discovery for these.

I've got this tile kicking around here but didn't realize it was iPhone only.

Will be interested to hear your experience with the Trackr specific to bike tracking, Jaik.

Find my iPhone works on GPS. GPS is only accurate to about 10 Meters. iPhones are also easily turned off or restored to another image. Specifically, someone looking to steal a phone would also be likely to turn it off to disable these tracking items.

When you introduce something that is tracked by Bluetooth, and relies on tracking under 100 feet(although I've experience more with low noise or interference). If someone passes by an item using a Trackr, and is also using the Trackr app, a signal is recorded and beamed to you. You then have an idea of where your Trackr is located. If you show up to that location, and use your mobile device, it will become stronger the closer you get, and notify you that you're getting closer. 

Getting stolen things back is more common than you think. I had a bike stolen in 2012. It was returned to me almost two years later. When you say you don't understand why people want their things back after they are stolen, the most simple explanation I can give you is because it is their stuff. Saying you don't understand the want for something recovered, stopping crime, and catching bad guys, well that's just ridiculous and not realistic. Everyone wants to live in a safer World, even if they put off the image that they think there is no more hope. 

You continue to spend your energy being pessimistic, I'll continue to spend my life optimistic.


Davis Moore said:

"Find My iPhone" works about as well as anything proposed here ever possibly could. Anyone here know anyone who has ever gotten their iPhone back using it? Anyone? These gadgets are just gimmicks that play on people's fantasies of security, or "catching the bad guy". They're smoke and mirrors.

People have been stealing stuff for as long as people have had stuff, and the victims have been entertaining fantasies about getting their stuff back for that long too. And the percentage who do actually get their stuff back has probably always held steady at about .000000000000000000000001%.

I really do not understand this obsession with theft recovery, and stopping crime, and catching bad guys etc. Why people can't just follow the normal recommended advice on locking etc., and then just accept that there are no guarantees in life. If your bike is stolen, post about it or whatever, but then get on with your life. Life is too short to go obsessively chasing down these illusory abstract concepts of "justice". Especially about something as relatively inconsequential as a bike. There's more important stuff in life to spend your energies on it seems like.

My friend did get her iphone back actually. She was back in Chicago and drove all the way back to the Wisconsin Dells.  

Davis Moore said:

"Find My iPhone" works about as well as anything proposed here ever possibly could. Anyone here know anyone who has ever gotten their iPhone back using it? Anyone? These gadgets are just gimmicks that play on people's fantasies of security, or "catching the bad guy". They're smoke and mirrors.

People have been stealing stuff for as long as people have had stuff, and the victims have been entertaining fantasies about getting their stuff back for that long too. And the percentage who do actually get their stuff back has probably always held steady at about .000000000000000000000001%.

I really do not understand this obsession with theft recovery, and stopping crime, and catching bad guys etc. Why people can't just follow the normal recommended advice on locking etc., and then just accept that there are no guarantees in life. If your bike is stolen, post about it or whatever, but then get on with your life. Life is too short to go obsessively chasing down these illusory abstract concepts of "justice". Especially about something as relatively inconsequential as a bike. There's more important stuff in life to spend your energies on it seems like.

If my bike is stolen, that's bad for me, and presumably good (at least temporarily) for the thief. If I was the only bike owner that thief took advantage of, then sure, I understand your admonition to get over it and move on.

However, San Francisco's bait bike program, recent discovery out in California of a large cache of stolen bikes in the possession of one person, the stolen bike registry here, etc... suggest that bike theft is not a handful of one-to-one owner/thief relationships. Bike theft appears to be big business. It currently appears to be low risk, high reward. If I work to get my bike back, I might well be preventing what appears on the surface to be my own personal thief from stealing other peoples' bikes. That one thief is not only stealing from me. He is almost certainly busy stealing as many bikes as he can lay his grubby little hands on.

The thief-to-owner relationship tends to be one-to-many, not one-to-one.

I didn't spend two years obsessing about it. About a month total. Within the first week I found the person that stole it. He didn't have it anymore. Since I followed the proper "snake oil" tactics, it was discovered when someone brought the bike into Comrade Cycles for a repair.

The only way I could have prevented my bike from being stolen would have been to either weld the door shut, not have any neighbors to allow the door to be opened, or put it inside my bedroom. I couldn't have made the building more "theft proof" but I bet I could have found it quicker with something that located the bike.

I'm glad you think you're being engaging on this thread, but it's more about tracking something and locating it, rather than harping on the people who are attempting discuss that and making a change. Also, not believing in how effective the technology of the future is sounds like someone stuck in an archaic age of wanting things to remain exactly the same as they are. 


Davis Moore said:

And I'm glad you got your bike back. But if you spent two years obsessing about it, that seems like a waste of energy to me. (I'm not saying you did, and if I had to wager I'd bet the bike "found it's way" back to you, rather than you hunting the thieves down like some sleuthing crime fighter.)

Bike theft is a crime of opportunity is all I'm saying, so prevention is a bigger cure than something reactive like these variations on lo-jack. All of which I think are all just some gimmicky bs anyway that just play on peoples fantasy of being able to "catch someone red handed". I just don't buy it that they'll ever be all that effective.

Davis Moore,

None of us as far as I can tell have terribly high hopes for these devices. My own interest in testing  is being to say from personal experience that they aren't very useful, becuase the topic comes up frequently, although I'd be happy to be pleasantly surprised.

I wonder if you're also missing that trying to do something about bike theft is an extension of bike advocacy. If you want to see more people taking up bicycles as transportation, you'll want to see people being able to trust that their bikes won't just be gone one day.
 
Davis Moore said:

I never said I didn't understand "why people want their things back after they are stolen", I said I "do not understand this obsession with theft recovery, and stopping crime, and catching bad guys etc." A want and an obsession are two different things. I've had my home thoroughly burglarized while on vacation. They took large items of furniture. Risky Business style. I get it. 

Not being obsessed with something doesn't make me pessimistic. I just think this borderline fanatical obsession with bike theft recovery is something akin to the same drive that compels people to open carry guns. Like people want to be a super hero and "end crime" or something. But it's a very limited solution to a problem that is only applicable in the real world in such rare occurrences as to not really be worth the time/money/effort/stress etc. It's a fantasy. I'm not saying "Don't report the theft to the police/CSBR/Facebook, check Craigslist for a few weeks" etc. But these gadgets atc. are just snake oil to me.

And I'm glad you got your bike back. But if you spent two years obsessing about it, that seems like a waste of energy to me. (I'm not saying you did, and if I had to wager I'd bet the bike "found it's way" back to you, rather than you hunting the thieves down like some sleuthing crime fighter.)

Bike theft is a crime of opportunity is all I'm saying, so prevention is a bigger cure than something reactive like these variations on lo-jack. All of which I think are all just some gimmicky bs anyway that just play on peoples fantasy of being able to "catch someone red handed". I just don't buy it that they'll ever be all that effective.

I should be receiving my TrackR any day. Just found their server data map, and they have over 100,000 of these shipping to everyone. That will create the largest crowd sourced GPS network, assuming everyone uses the app to track things like they should. This was from last month:

Looking forward to seeing if it works, would be great to have a tool like this. 

Jaik S. said:

I should be receiving my TrackR any day. Just found their server data map, and they have over 100,000 of these shipping to everyone. That will create the largest crowd sourced GPS network, assuming everyone uses the app to track things like they should. This was from last month:

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