From time to time here on the site we like to review some of the products we come across in our travels around the country to various events, and the Zoombak is one of those products. Simply put, the device is a personal GPS locator which allows for a variety of uses in tracking objects — whether it be a car, your pet, or even a person.
The Zoombak unit itself is very compact, measuring in at about 2.9 inches long by 1.7 inches wide, and is about .8 inches thick. It’s light weight, about 2.5 ounces, makes its use on just about anything without much consideration for size or weight fairly practical.
Zoombak sent us the pet version, which includes a pouch that can be attached to a collar, as well as wall charger. A version is sold for the car which replaces the pouch for a car charger, and there is also a universal option which includes both pieces.
The pet version and universal version retail for $200, while the car model is $250. The difference in price for the car model is due to the fact that a car installation kit and 12V charging apparatus are included within the package.
GPS location systems are done through Assisted GPS, which uses the T-Mobile network and cellular towers to assist in locating the device. We found the system to work about as well as any cellular GPS system on the market — which means positioning won’t always be 100 percent accurate but fairly close overall.
In order to use the device, the user must register it and sign up for a service package with Zoombak. If a user goes month-by-month, the device costs $14.99 monthly. However, a user can lower the rate to $9.99 monthly if they pay up front.
For some, this might seem to be a hefty price to pay for tracking. However, potential savings can come from elsewhere: if its an animal involved, the money saved by not aimlessly searching and/or not losing the pet altogether (which these days can cost hundreds if not thousands), or if in the auto, some insurance companies may give a break for tracking devices installed in cars.
Compare this with LoJack — which can be far more expensive, and Zoombak looks more and more like a good deal.
Tracking is done through the company’s website, which gives you the options to set notifications when the device either moves in or out of a certain area. We found this feature to be the neatest of the Zoombak offerings.
I set a zone which allowed me to set a certain distance around my home. It works — my dog loves to roam. As soon as she moved out of the area I had set, within a few moments I had received a text message on my phone alerting me to it.
No more searching for pooch, that’s definitely nice.
There’s a plethora of other uses here. Take for example your gallavanting daughter or son tells you they’re going to their friend’s house. Set a zone around that location, and you’ll know if they get there. Yes, it may be a little too big brother for some, but if your a nervous parent, it’s piece of mind.
One beef we had with the system is the requirement that you must log in to the site in order to track. We would have preferred to have some system where the information could have been public: the Zoombak representatives we talked to seemed to suggest that is likely not in the cards.
Overall, we are very pleased with this unit, and are sad to see it go back. The possibilities for use of the Zoombak are almost endless, and I’m sure enterprising techies will find new uses for this. Either way, personal tracking devices seem to be a burgeoning market, and I’m sure we’ll see more of these types of devices in the future.
Either way, if you have the money and a use for this, the Zoombak may be a good idea for the Christmas list this year. It may be a little pricey, but the potential savings are quite significant. And the piece of mind is, too.