Thursday, March 27, 2008

Trapster turns your cell phone into a police detector

Posted by T. Michael Testi


By Josh Lowensohn – March 27, 2008, 11:33 AM PDT


Skyhook Wireless' geopositioning can be useful, but rarely does it save you from a $400 speeding ticket. A start-up named Trapster is trying to change that.


The company has taken a creative spin on using geopositioning to help lead-footed drivers avoid known and newly discovered speed traps and other police dragnets. By installing the application on your mobile phone you'll get heads up on speed cameras, red-light cameras, hiding places, and live police while out and about. The application uses Skyhook Wireless' Wi-Fi and cell tower location positioning system to keep tabs on where you are while you're driving around. It also blends in GPS to give you more precise positioning on city streets.


The data comes from other tipsters on the Trapster network, and is updated frequently. Creator Pete Tenereillo tells me there only need to be about 10 active users in each city to provide a reasonable amount of coverage for live police and new traps on major thoroughfares, a number which has already been met in places like Rhode Island, Florida, and San Diego.


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