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Local company improves GPS

Posted: September 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 9, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Salesman Nick Amelsberg uses the LiveView GPS tracking system in Valencia on Thursday.

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When you have an errant service person out on the streets or that expensive piece of machinery has been stolen from your place of business — who you gonna call? LiveViewGPS if you want real-time GPS tracking capabilities.

Founded by Santa Clarita residents George and Connie Karonis, the couple originally sold devices in 2005 that logged tracking data, but clients had to pull the devices out of whatever was being tracked and download the data into a computer.

As technology evolved clients began asking for real-time tracking capabilities, George Karonis said.

Formed in 2008, the Valencia-based company that began with six people now has 10 people working for it. Self-funded, the privately held company was launched with capital Karonis and his wife had saved over time. Profits have been reinvested in the business, he said.

The real-time tracking systems are incredible, Karonis said. Clients can keep track of their mobile fleets by watching vehicles move down specific streets on a map, and use the system to determine which service person is closest to the next service call; as well as monitor how fast a driver is driving and when the vehicle arrives on the job site and parks.

“A dispatcher can watch up to 25 cars on a control panel making dispatching very easy,” Karonis said.

The LiveViewGPS system has also been used by law enforcement, large universities and other public safety departments, he said. It’s been used to apprehend bales of hale, seafood and bike thieves.

A law enforcement department installed the units on bikes, targeted by thieves, and allowed them to be stolen, Karonis said. The real time GPS tracking system allowed the officers to crack a theft ring.

While there’s a lot of competition in the market, Karonis said his business-to-business company’s strategy for growth is to expand into the consumer market.

LiveViewGPS has been selling services to anxious parents of teen drivers. The parents can set limits — speed or geographic area — and if the teen driver speeds or exits a permitted zone, the parent gets a text alert, he said.

The system can also be used on vehicles of elderly drivers who are still driving but might be at risk for getting confused, providing a piece of mind about a parent’s safety, Karonis said.

But, LiveViewGPS is also pioneering into new territory.

Mobile phones

“The company just finished building a cool application that allows you to register on our system and access the company’s location–services using a mobile phone without downloading anything to the phone, he said.

“A parent doesn’t need to buy GPS tracker but can use it on the teen’s phone,” Karonis said.

LiveViewGPS built the product from scratch, he said, and it’s about two months out from being released.

And the company is taking the technology to another level.

While businesses might subscribe to a monthly service, families may not need a full-time service. So the company has designed a pre-paid mobile phone locate card that will come with a set amount of credits — just like the pre-paid mobile phone cards retailers sell. The LiveViewGPS card allows families to use the credits as needed.

A patent is pending on the mobile phone locate card, Karonis said, and he expects it to be the only card of its kind on the market.

While business-to-business revenue generated accounts for 80 percent of the company’s business today; Karonis said he expects to see more growth coming from the consumer market via the mobile phone locate card in the near future.

“We see a lot of interest. We’re in the opening stage of discussion with some pretty big retailers now.”

The company’s goal is to have its mobile phone locate card in every retail establishment possible two years from now, he said.

Still, the commercial industry isn’t over-saturated yet.

Market-wide

The market is still a relatively new industry with some 20 million fleet vehicles on the road. Only 8 percent have some kind of tracking system, Karonis said. But, ultimately every vehicle will have a device, he said.

LiveViewGPS has thousands of customers and has sold units in the United States, Canada, Mexico and 60 or so other countries, he said.

Once the data from the GPS devices is sent over to a server, a company can run all kinds of reports about its drivers and vehicles — including information about its employees’ behavior. And, drivers who know that system is installed tend to be less likely to speed or do something they shouldn’t be doing on the job, Karonis said.

“One company found they had an employee hitching his boat up to their vehicle and going out to the lake,” Karonis said while laughing.

More information can be found online at www.liveviewgps.com or by calling 888-502-3636.

jadkins@the-signal.com

661-287-5599

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