Driving back from Bosnia recently I was struck by just how much technology we actually make use of when transporting pets within Europe (and Bosnia), and the UK. I wrote recently about the attempted van jacking and that one reason may have been that they noticed how much technology we have in the van.
Anyway sat behind the wheel I thought (well it was 3am in the morning) that it might be of interest to show the set up we have in the van so I borrowed co-drivers Smartphone and grabbed a photo (which you can see below)
Starting top right is the Samsung S4 Dual SIM with a UK and Spanish SIM card so that both numbers and date services are active all the time. Connected via Bluetooth the vans control system (big box top centre) the phone has the tracking software active at all times, is obviously available for use as a phone, SMS and WhatsApp, and provides a secondary source of Music.
Having two of everything, for back up, is vitally important, as once we (and our customers) become dependent on the technology it can be a real issue if it becomes unavailable.
Below the S4 is the Series 60 TomTom GPS system which is absolutely brilliant. I much prefer portable GPS systems to fixed once as they are easier to upgrade and I can sit at my desk and plan routes etc.
Tucked in front of the TomTom is Dude.
Above the steering wheel is the GoPro Hero 3 (with remote), a recent addition, and very useful for providing a little bit of interest to the trips, but also if we suspect something with a attempted van jacking we can set the video recording.
To the left is the 4th Generation iPod Touch which is primarily the source of music (64GB but I reckon I listen to the same 5GB each trip), but it also has the TomTom application loaded so is the backup GPS System.
To the left at the back is the screen for the reversing camera, which also doubles as an external screen for a number of devices if required.
In front of that is the Samsung 10.1 (replaced by an iPad in the UK) which is the main device for updating the password protected transport page and keeping in touch via Twitter, Facebook, Email etc. Both the Samsung and the iPad have data services (in total we have 4 data contracts: 2 in Spain and 2 in UK), and the Samusung also serves as a back up phone.
The small white box is a spare battery for the S4 and portable charger, and we have duplicate power leads to charge up all the devices.
Just to the right of the vans control system (but out of photo I am afraid) is the temperature control monitor which shows the temperature in the front and back of the van. We actually carry two spare ones.
So all the technology has a back up, and a Spanish and UK version as applicable.
And of course we carry maps!!
Our use of technology doesn’t stop with the van (not sure that a powered cool box that we carry in the back qualifies as technology) as we use Google Apps to share various information between ourselves (so anything one of us updates the other sees on any device), and with our preferred partners.
And I suppose that as we are talking technology I should add this Blog, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and TwitPic to the list as well.