iTrack Live, the newly-developed vehicle tracking device created by South African engineers, is set to change the face of vehicle tracking.
This is according to Richard Parry, chief executive of MLT Tech, who says the market has traditionally been dominated by two major players.
"We are proudly South African because our product is designed and manufactured here at home and we will compete head to head with the big guys," he says.
The Cape-Town based company has been making waves in the IT industry, snatching two prestigious awards in the process.
Parry and his business partners Jean-Claude Malengret and Tristan Phillips were first recognized by the Cape Town Information Technology Initiative's (CITI's) VeloCITI programme. The three engineering graduates have benefited from this initiative, which gives young entrepreneurs an opportunity to learn business management skills and be mentored by experienced professionals over a nine-month period. VeloCITI awarded MLT Tech the runners up award.
"Through relationships formed during the VeloCITI programme our company has reduced our marginal costs by more than 30% and increased revenues by up to 50%. Our participation in the VeloCITI programme has led to many partnerships which have become invaluable to our business," says Parry.
The National Innovation Fund competition also recognised MLT Tech with an award after coming third for its Next Generation Personal Tracking Device.
The iTrack Live allows users to track anything via the Internet using a cellphone. Users can send text messages or log on to the device via the Internet and retrieve a vehicle¹s location, speed, altitude, inclination, route and many other things.
"The strength of our offering is its functionality and price. We offer a very competitive price for a combination of functionality that has never been seen in South Africa before," says Parry.
He believes the device will revolutionise the way security companies manage their fleets, giving them stronger control, accountability and efficiency. For instance, security company owners can reduce fuel costs by using optimal routes and drivers' movements and speed can be monitored more closely. The platform for this device is based on the GPRS technology and is the only South African product where the software and hardware and the Web software interface is designed in South Africa.
The realtime tracking device could also help South Africa in dealing with the problem of cash-in-transit heists because of its ability to track both the vehicle and personnel. This could mean quicker reaction times and better co-coordinated police intelligence.
The company is currently negotiating with some big players in the cash-in transit business and prototypes are currently being tested, Parry adds.
The technology will also be supplied to the sporting community after the launch of the iTrack U in January 2008. This version will allow runners and cyclists to be tracked through their routes.
"By focusing on innovation we are constantly developing new ideas and solutions. As we invent innovative ways of using technology we think of ways that these innovations can improve people's lives," says Parry.