Once in a while, you might feel like you’re being watched. Lately, I know I am, thanks to a smart-phone app that stealthily tracks my every move, no check-ins required, with greater accuracy than common geolocation tools.
Called Placeme, the free app takes advantage of the smart phone’s sensors and its GPS and Wi-Fi capabilities to figure out where I go and for how long, and stores this data in a private log on my iPhone.
It may sound creepy or unnecessary, but as more people carry smart phones with them everywhere, demand for this kind of persistent location tracking may grow—not just from marketers, but also from individuals who want to keep an eye on their own movements or of loved ones with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s. At least, that’s the hope of the startup behind Placeme, Alohar Mobile, which has also released a software development kit to help coders create apps that can log your movements accurately and efficiently—without running down the battery in your smart phone.
To use Placeme, available for the iPhone and phones running Google’s Android software, you must keep both your GPS and Wi-Fi on. As you travel around, the app will silently log the places you visit. Within the app, you can view day-by-day maps of where you’ve been. Each destination you spent time at is marked by little pins; tap on a pin to see how long you were there and check out a Google Street View image of the location. You can also add notes about a location (a favorite dish at a restaurant, perhaps). There’s also a searchable, alphabetical log of all your destinations.Tweet