GPS technology has come a very long way and can do some great things, much more than even 10 years ago. Like all things Hollywood has a way of creating some misconceptions about just what a GPS tracker can and cannot do. Lets have a look at some of the more common myths about GPS trackers and see how far Hollywood has stretched the truth.
GPS tracker can be hidden inside a stack of dollar bills. Fiction, at least at this time. Well kind of. Trackers can currently be made as small as a dime, but they need power and also 2 antennas to work. Battery technology is evolving at a rapid pace and will hopefully catch up with GPS trackers as far as footprint size. The 2 antenna needed by the tracker are used for the GPS and the cellular. The smaller the antenna the more likely the device will not accurately track its location. At this time the antenna cannot be made small enough to accurately track location, provide power, and fit inside a stack of bills.
In the movies a car tracking device can be seen moving across the map in real time, in real live the tracker jumps from point to point. Hollywood has enhanced this effect in order to make it more interesting to the viewer. In reality trackers usually update in 10 second intervals so that is why they appear to jump across the screen. The reason for this is that sending continuous location updates every second would quickly drain the devices power.
GPS trackers can be implanted under the skin. Complete fiction, well at least the way Hollywood shows it. For the same reason trackers cannot be inserted into a stack a bills they cannot be made small enough to be inserted under the skin. Now a tracker could be attached to a person, but with the current size of GPS trackers it would require a serious surgery and the tracker would probably not be able to keep a battery charge for very long. It will be quite a long time in the future before trackers the size of rice can be easily inserted under a persons skin.
How do implantable pet tracking chips work? Well they dont. The chips that are inserted into your cat or dog do not actually track their location or provide any sort of real time tracking. Those chips are actually RFID only have a range of a few feet. When the vet or shelter scans them it gives them information about the pets address and owners contact info. There are pet collars that are able to provide tracking data, but right now nothing that can actually be implanted in your pet.