Project Lifesaver is Introducing a GPS-Enabled Watch… What Gives?!

As a means of securing the safety of those we serve, at every available opportunity, we voice our concerns about the true capabilities and downfalls of GPS… don’t worry this is not another one of those posts, but with all of our opposition, I’m sure there must have been some confusion in the aftermath of our latest announcement.

Earlier this week, we announced on our social media pages that we were introducing a new GPS-enabled watch to replace the PAL (Protect and Locate) device that we discontinued late last year.

I hear it now.

GPS, huh?! I thought Project Lifesaver was all about Radio Frequency!

Finally, they get that GPS is the better, more advanced technology!

Great, Project Lifesaver has joined the bandwagon… I don’t get how they can abandon their ideals so easily at the risk of so many lives.

Maybe even a few snide remarks accompanying those thoughts. There are always a few among the masses.

I get it, though. How can we fight, sometimes tooth and nail, for one thing, and then at the very next turn do the exact opposite? Well, the simple fact is this: we aren’t. Sure, we may be introducing this new piece of technology, but our integrity and principles remain intact, and at the end of the day safety is our number one priority.

All of that in mind, Radio Frequency is here to stay!

But why then, is Project Lifesaver beginning to offer GPS-enabled devices if you are still against them?

Project Lifesaver first introduced GPS options approximately 5 years ago. I was not entirely thrilled with the idea – surprise, surprise! At the time, I still had very little faith and trust in the technology, and by no means did I want everyone to perceive that my views had changed.

For years, I had been fielding requests for us to partner with company after company, test device after device; ultimately, all of which, after thoughtful consideration, got shot down. RF was the most reliable – we had successfully proven that for years, with numerous upstanding university studies backing our findings – and nothing, but the very best would be used by this organization. There was just too much at stake, and I’m not referring to our asses on the line, but rather the lives that have been entrusted to our program.

However, I also knew that there was a growing need for alternate locating solutions. Project Lifesaver was not available in every community, and for a select few, RF just didn’t meet their needs. The industry had begun to despicably transform into a marketplace of ‘solutions’ – scared caregivers were turned into unsuspected consumers, and I wished we had an alternative that caregivers knew that they could TRUST.

Then along came PAL. The first GPS-enabled device that showed promise even after rigorous testing.

Not nearly enough promise to change Project Lifesaver’s operations (it was still GPS, after all!), but it was the most reliable device outside of RF that I had come across, and under the right circumstances, I knew it was capable to live up to the organization’s technological standards. So, we began offering it under the Project Lifesaver brand as an alternative to RF – warning those who inquired that it was not a replacement for RF and informing them of its potential to fail in given conditions.

GPS was not the above all, end-all solution to wandering. It still isn’t. But for many, it is the shiny new toy they just cannot resist.

PAL had a decent run. But within just years, technological advancements had far surpassed the device’s capabilities, and eventually, when the device no longer ruled to be the most reliable option, we discontinued it and continued our search for a better alternative.

That alone is where we differ from all those companies riding the bandwagon: we do not grow complacent in our practices. Our ability to bring loved ones home is only as strong as the equipment and techniques we use.

Technological advancements are a part of our everyday operations. For example, we are only months away from introducing a revolutionary system as an option in our RF practices, and now, with this watch, we will also have another GPS device to offer caregivers as well.

The point of the matter is this: we cannot discourage anyone from their own preference in locating devices, but we can educate them, and at the end of the day, if GPS is still what someone wants, at the very least we can provide them with a trustworthy device from a reliable and honest source. In my opinion, trustworthiness is more favorable than blind faith.

After all, Project Lifesaver has technology and integrity you can rely on and provides protection you can trust!