Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to know the future, look at the past.” Well, no offense to Einstein, but we here at Spytec GPS would tweak that quote to say, “If you want to optimize the future, look at the past.”
With the release of our latest feature, Time Machine, we’re giving our mobile app users the ability to do exactly that. Designed based on feedback from our business customers, Time Machine provides:
- A map of each tracker’s movement during a specific time period, and
- Speed, distance, and environmental details at various “snapshot” locations along the way.
Basically, Time Machine gives you a window into each tracker’s past—so you know exactly where it went and when. This information is useful in a variety of business situations. For example:
Addressing Customer Delivery Issues
Ever had a customer complain about a late or missed delivery? With Time Machine, you can easily pull up delivery truck locations during the time window in question to figure out what went wrong—and then take the necessary corrective action to prevent the same issue from occurring in the future.
Gathering Incident Info for Insurance Claims
If you rent out vehicles or equipment, then you know that accidents, theft, and damage are ever-present threats to your business. While you can’t always avoid these types of misfortunes, you can expedite the legal and/or insurance reimbursement process by having easy access to information like driver speed and weather conditions at the time of the incident.
Assessing Staffing Needs
It’s important to know how much time your drivers are spending on the road—and on the job—so you can proactively expand or reduce your fleet to meet fluctuating demand. Even more important: Ensuring that your drivers’ hours and mileage are within the bounds of all applicable safety and labor laws.
But enough about why it’s important; you can probably think of a hundred ways to use this sort of functionality in your day-to-day operations. So, let’s get to the most exciting part: how it works.
Using Time Machine in the Spytec GPS Mobile App
Currently, Time Machine is available exclusively within the Spytec GPS mobile app. To access Time Machine, navigate to the appropriate menu item, as shown in the following screenshot.
Next, select the devices for which you wish to view past location data and set the desired time window. (Currently, the maximum window is 24 hours, and that window must have occurred within the last three months.)
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. At the top of your screen, you’ll see a map displaying the selected trackers and a color-coded route line for each.
As you move forward from your start time to your end time, the color-coded route lines will increase in saturation—almost like a progress bar. When you reach the end of your time window, the line will be fully saturated.
At the bottom of your screen, you’ll see the timeline for your designated time period. The timeline provides a chronological record of “pings”—a.k.a. data captures. Each ping in the timeline will show:
the tracker icon,
whether the tracked item was moving or stopped,
the speed of each moving item,
the physical address closest to the tracked item, and
any alerts associated with the ping.
To view more detailed information for each ping event, simply tap on the item in the timeline.
Want to adjust your time window or add/remove trackers from your view? Tap the filters icon in the top right of the map screen to make those changes. You can also change the appearance of your map using the Map Style menu.