Inevitably at some point throughout this summer you will find yourself hesitant before attempting to give someone a call as you desperately try to remember the week they said they were on holiday. It happens, so either you end up costing yourself a whole load of money on phone bills by risking it, or you leave a good message go undelivered. Either way, it’s not ideal.
Enter Traktr. A new service which goes someway, well all the way in fact, to eradicating such issues. The simple service allows you to track the country that someone is in simply by entering his or her phone number. It’s really that simple, once you have signed up to the service all you need to do is enter the number of the person, including the usual country code (+44 in the UK) and you will be informed of the country the phone is currently in.
To make things even simpler, there is no software or anything even slightly complex to implement, the process is just a couple of simple steps so I tested the service to prove, or disprove these claims.
Testing the Service
Signing up for Traktr is the simplest job you could imagine. Simply enter your e-mail address and desired password and you’re away. Within a few seconds I received a welcome and confirmation e-mail.
Once you have followed the given link and loaded up the main site you are faced with an extremely simplistic layout featuring nothing more than a short contact list and a scalable blue and white map of the world.
To start with, you must add a contact using one of the free lookup credits you are awarded upon signing up. You receive 5 to start with, which is sufficient at this point or alternatively you can just buy more in packs of 20 ($1), 125($5) or 300($10) which is actually less than a standard SMS message. You can easily pay via PayPal or the usual other services.
So anyway, to add a contact you simply enter their name, which doesn’t have to be their full name just a desired contact name, along with their mobile number including country code and press ‘Add’. Once you have submitted the contact, a small black area containing their contact name is placed in the relevant county on the map at the top and their details are displayed neatly below.
I used all of my available credits to test the service deliberately entering details for phones I knew were abroad at the time and they were all very accurate. Unfortunately at this point, phones in the US are untrackable through the service which is a little annoying and baffling considering all the prices are in US$.
Of course, with any service like this there are going to be issues with security and personal preference from both sides of the fence. Firstly, someone may not want to be traced but fear not, the tracking is very limited as it only tells you the country they are in, not the address or exact co-ordinates – I mean it’s not like you’re putting a GPS tracking watch on someone to know their exact location.
On the other hand, the person doing the tracking may not want the target to be aware that they are being tracked. Again, don’t worry they won’t know unless you tell them.
At the moment the Traktr service is in Beta, having said that there is nothing blatantly wrong with the site at the moment with it being so simplistic. The service is a concept which is hardly complex yet in some cases extremely handy to have available and I’m sure it’s popularity will grow throughout the Summer depending on the level of publicity.
Traktr does nothing more than just work. Which really, should you require it, is all you could ask for from it.
Would you want to use a service like this? How do you feel about people potentially being able to know which country in the world you’re currently located? Is it a concern and does it raise privacy issues for you like the 118 800 mobile phone directory did for some people?