Micro GPS Mail Logger

When you’re a kid, dropping a letter in the mailbox knowing that it will end up across the country or across the world in a matter of days feels almost like magic – it’s hard to even comprehend how those men in blue do it. Of course, with age and experience comes wisdom, and with it, a little bit of bitterness as well. After getting burned by the mail with late, mysteriously damaged, and missing letters enough times, that childhood wonder can warp into a slightly more jaded sense of wonder: just what are they doing with my stuff, anyway?

The micro GPS mail logger from Brickhouse Security is perhaps one of the few devices that can earnestly answer that question for you. By using GPS components configured in an ultra-thin form factor, it allows suspicious mailers to pry open that veil of secrecy that shrouds conventional mail service and find out what’s going on between point A and point B.

The logger, which is smaller than the footprint of a regular business size envelope, resembles a the plain green printed circuit boards you may be used to seeing, but has been made bendable to account for the wear and tear of mail handling. It connects to a separate 3.7-volt lithium-ion battery via a short cable to keep it powered, and has a microSD slot for recording data on its included data card. The entire package is less than a quarter of an inch thick, making it easy to slip into even compact envelopes that aren’t meant for accommodating much bulk.

GPS Mail Logger
Image Courtesy of BrickHouse Security

Since it has no transmitter to broadcast its location in real time, the logger writes all location data on its microSD card for retrieval later. It can be configured to collect the information every 2, 5 or 10 minutes, or use an internal tilt sensor to log data only when it moves, since mail spends a lot of time sitting around doing nothing. Continuous logging will only provide 20 hours of run time before the battery dies, but using the motion activation, the logger can run for up to two weeks while it crisscrosses the globe.

After an envelope arrives, its microSd card can be removed, and the data from it fed into Google Earth for a graphic review of where it has been, and when. Besides recording simple coordinate data, the logger also digitally scribbles down altitude and speed. It’s like riding along shotgun in a tiny, tiny envelope.

For consumers, the logger has a variety of uses, ranging from simple curiosity (Do mail truck drivers speed?) to raising alarm (Did they seriously just send my letter in a complete circle?). Although a lack of real-time response won’t let you know when Uncle Phil received his birthday card, you might just be able to make smarter decisions on future mailing after a few sent with the GPS logger. Just make sure Uncle Phil sends it back.

Of course, for those who actually run the shipping game, it could be me of much more use. Are letters running off track when they depart the Salt Lake City processing center? Is the middle of the day killing productivity? Are drivers stopping for one too many coffee breaks? For smaller couriers, the device holds the possibility of speeding up and improving service.

Unfortunately, it’s not cheap to play mail spy. The micro GPS mail; logger runs for a steep $695.95, far more than your run-of-the-mill consumer GPS logger, and even pricier than larger units meant for keeping tabs on packages. But for serious shippers, it might worth the research. More information can be found at BrickHouse Security.

Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks for the best portable chargers.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.
Emerging Tech

Trip to Neptune’s moon, Triton, could inform search for extraterrestrial life

NASA has proposed sending a craft to Neptune to study its largest moon, Triton. Studying Triton could offer clues to how liquid water is maintained on planets, which may indicate what to look for when searching for life beyond our planet.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passes its tests with flying colors

The Mars 2020 rover team has been undertaking a series of tests to see if the craft will be able to launch, navigate, and land on the Red Planet. Called Systems Test 1, or ST1, these tests represent the first test drive of the new rover.

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Petzl to Tikkid, here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

A hive of activity: Using honeybees to measure urban pollution

According to a new study from Vancouver, bees could help us understand urban pollution. Scientists have found an innovative way to measure the level of source of pollution in urban environments: by analyzing honey.
Emerging Tech

Spacewalk a success as astronauts upgrade batteries on the ISS

The International Space Station was treated to some new batteries on Friday, thanks to two NASA astronauts who took a spacewalk for nearly seven hours in order to complete the upgrades.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Asteroid Ryugu is porous, shaped like a spinning top, and is formed of rubble

The Japanese Space Agency has been exploring a distant asteroid named Ryugu with its probe, Hayabusa 2. Now the first results from study of the asteroid are in, with three new papers published.