Iloilo-based GPS app experts tracked thousands of Iloilo Bike Festival participants, on March 19. Their upcoming 2.0 version could make event or tour groups feel safer in the Philippines, writes William Wadsworth
THIS month’s Iloilo Bike Festival revealed the beauty of the Iloilo Convention Center and a MICE-friendly, historic city. The popular March 13-19 celebration also highlighted new technology that could make Philippine events safer, more social, and maybe more competitive.
This technology is all the more fascinating because it is Filipino, and it was revealed on March 19, when bikers registered for a mass ride in Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park. Facebook footage revealed several people in black t-shirts inscribed with an email address “www.safesat.com.ph“. Curious about any new event brand, MICE News Philippines froze the film, keyed up the address, and found Safesat, a GPS technology company with offices in Singapore, Makati, and a base in Iloilo.
Formally known as Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management System Corporation, Safesat was founded in 2012, but it is already known in the logistics and freight sector, where its apps tell trucking companies where their vehicles are, and monitor their manning and operational efficiency. As the company’s entertaining cartoon video shows, such information enables truckers and the managers of sales and distribution networks to operate more cost effectively. Reports say Safesat’s technology also watches fleet vehicles’ speed, distance traveled, location, time and even aggressive driving, via satellite and the Cloud.
Now Safesat has adapted its GPS tracking technology to events. At the Iloilo Bike Festival, Safesat’s technology enabled the event’s organizers to follow their registered riders “for clustering and safety as they enjoyed their cruising in the city”, the company tells MICE News Philippines.
The festival was a big home-turf opportunity, the company says. The event is “probably the largest gathering of cyclistas from all over the Philippines”, Safesat says, citing the event’s “art, Ronda Pilipinas Visayas League and the ride of thousands bikers all over the beautiful city of Iloilo”.
Iloilo City’s MICE-friendly mayor also encouraged Safesat to be involved in the festival, the company says.
“We were invited by our beloved Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, and it was a pleasure for us to be involved in the 3rd Annual Iloilo Bike Festival,” Safesat tells this website. “Our team introduced our new product, the SafeSat Finder. It’s a mobile app, free to download at Play Store, where users can create groups, and invite their friends and loved-ones to share their current location privately and securely, so they can easily determine each other’s whereabouts, providing safety and peace of mind.”
Such “peace of mind” could boost the international marketability of the Philippine events industry. The technology seems to have run successfully. This website searched in vain for Iloilo cyclistas’ complaints online over Easter, and instead found 3,559 Facebook “Likes”. The company says its users have offered encouragement and helpful advice.
“So far, we have had positive feedbacks from our subscribers,” a Safesat spokesman said in Iliolo yesterday. “We are also very much open to suggestions; we even included some of the [users’] suggestions in our next update, like the Chat Function.”
If Safesat impressed the cyclistas and their Iloilo ride organizers, then maybe the company could present the Safesat Finder to the planners of bigger run or sports events in Subic, Clark and Cebu. And if the company’s technology tracks trucks via satellite, then why not classic cars in grand events such as the Tour de Cebu? The organizers of action sports events or treks might also find similar uses for such tracking in wild country.
Safesat’s upcoming 2.0 version is “tentatively” due out in mid-April, and it could “very much help [people] who are into events”, the company tells this website. And soon, it will also be available for iOS users, it adds.
“We’ll be including features like posting of an activity you want to do, be it a simple gathering with your friends or lovedones over dinner or coffee; a simple meet-up for small to large groups, or even a big event like a party, a bike race, or a fun run,” the company says. “It’s like announcing to your preferred audience an activity that they would be interested to join.”
Such tracking potential might also interest tour operators taking bus-loads of visitors into Intramuros, or trips ashore from cruise liners in Boracay or Puerto Princesa. If Safesat can help make tourists feel safe in the Philippines, then Iloilo City Mayor Mabilog might have spotted game-changing, MICE-event technology on his doorstep.
“Safesat would be very happy to be part of any events,” the company says. “Just let us know.”
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Safesat cartoon video showing how distribution companies can track their trucks and monitor their drivers
Life’s meaning is sometimes elusive; you seek it but you cannot find it. But, at times, you chance upon its meaning accidentally. It was the fate of Salvador “Buddy” Silva Jr. III that he found meaning after his father died from a car crash. Grieving had pushed him not to despair but to inspiration. A logistics expert, Buddy thought of a system that will help people how to drive on the road safely and efficiently. With a team of software engineers, he created a total logistics control system that will track a company’s assets – its people and vehicles.
“If we devote all our passion and creative minds on how we can standardize safety in every corner, straight or curved streets in highways, we can save more lives and help our community, country and perhaps, the world to avoid such destructive loss of loved ones brought by a sudden and tragic death from a vehicular accident,” he says.
Losing his father led Buddy to find a solution that would help companies monitor people on the road, their exact location, their directions and other vehicles. His system called Safesat GPS tracking system – which he now shares with companies – ensures the safety of people and vehicles by tracking their whereabouts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With its vibration sensor and accelerometer, Safesat can inform the motorist if he overspeeds, hits the brakes or accelerates harshly, also if there’s fuel theft and change of route. This helps the motorist drive safely and lessens fuel consumption, resulting in increased productivity and savings.
“I realized that technology is all about sharing and breaking the boundaries of control. Imagine the world if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided to keep to themselves the PC (personal computer) they first created. It was in 2012 when we decided to form a corporation to share our technology,” he says.
With their company, Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management Corp., Buddy and his team of the software engineers redesigned and recreated the system’s whole architecture and infrastructure as software. They later integrated it with more systems so it can be used as a software platform with the help of the Internet, personal computers and smartphones.
Leading with a purpose
Buddy believes the purpose of business is greater than earning big bucks. It is to make life safe and simple despite the risks. As Safesat’s CEO and managing director, he runs the technology business with his team of more than 20 software engineers from only five when he began three years ago. “I see myself as a father to my employees. I instill in them principles, core values and a greater sense of purpose,” he says. Safesat is an organization of people with different views and perspectives, making sure they have the same understanding and views about the company’s vision and goals.
Running a technology business is keeping the group together, mixing their chemistry and motivating them when they are exhausted to resolve errors, he says. “My past experience as a networker of more than 4,000 people from all walks of life, plus my understanding of their behavior, psychology, personality and needs makes me the complete managing director to run a tech team,” he says.
He owns three other firms, Complete Logistic Control Inc., Total SoftTech Solutions, Inc. and Philfast Global Forwarding, Inc., where he is the CEO and president. He employs more than 100 people and operates a fleet of more than 60 delivery trucks servicing Luzon, Panay and Negros.
At present, Safesat is concerned about efficiency and effectiveness of his team of 20 engineers, which is doing the job of over 30 engineers. “We are a start-up so we are trying to maximize our output to keep our cost, but eventually we will be expanding once we finalize our investors’ agreement,” he says.
Buddy is responsible for the management of all departments and concerns of clients and stockholders. “I see myself as the leader of our vision and beliefs. I decide on product design and direction,” he says. He adds that his partner and buddy Angelo Kaufmann takes care of the technical design and implementation while Professor Eric Soriano handles marketing, sales and strategy. He is also being helped by his siblings and in-laws and his wife. “My siblings and in laws are my primary investors while my wife is my CFO (chief finance officer),” he says.
Changing the mindset
Right now, the challenge of any start-up business is looking for funds. “We need capital. We also need to maximize our output,” he says. He laments that some investors cannot yet understand the shift of intangible assets like talents of individuals to physical assets when they evaluate investments.
“For me, the most powerful asset is creative innovation with proprietary claim as this is not subject for taxes, devaluation or destruction. It will take a few companies to leap and prove the results that will change the mindset of investors,” he says.
Today, times are different when the consumer has become more powerful, especially with the PC revolution, the Internet connectivity and the smartphone. “I want to share in order to lead and influence but not to dominate and force everyone to adjust,” he says.
Buddy wants to make life simple despite its uncertainties. He has been sharing his Safesat GPS technology with companies to ensure the safety of its assets and help them save. This makes his life meaningful for himself and for others. At last, his search for life’s meaning has led him to pursue something greater and more challenging, and the tragic death of his father will not be for naught.
by Eric Tipan
Tracking’ used to simply mean tracing the location of a vehicle in real-time as it moves to its destination. The primitive method shows a vehicle as a simple dot moving on the grid. Back in the day, getting ‘tracked’ meant you were either in trouble with the law or the target of a stalker.
With today’s advanced technology, using global positioning system (GPS) satellites, cutting-edge smartphones or mobile devices along with cloud storage, merely ‘tracking’ an auto’s location seems pretty old school.
Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management System Corporation hopes to change the image of tracking and the way it’s being done in the Philippines with the SafeSat Box.
WHAT IS IT?
Aside from being a product of three long years of hard work, SafeSat Box is also a fulfillment of a son’s promise to his father.
The company’s 40-year old CEO, Salvador Silva Jr. III lost his dad in a vehicular accident and since then has vowed to make streets safer for motorists in his own little way.
The SafeSat Box is essentially a small device that attaches wherever the client wants it. According to the company, it should preferably be under the dashboard.
The ‘box’ continuously sends data about the vehicle’s location, status and even fuel information to the ‘cloud’ for storage and easy access by the company’s server. It then distributes the information to their respective owners via notifications.
WHAT DOES IT NEED?
The SafeSat Box may seem intimidating with its plethora of wires, but according to the company’s Sales Supervisor Avel Gomez, a technically-inclined dude (or dudette for that matter) can actually DIY this.
Getting the fuel information is the trickiest part of the whole installation. The easy way is to simply tap onto the vehicle’s fuel gauge system but it isn’t the most accurate. The best way to get a precise reading is to drill in the sensor that comes with the SafeSat Box package onto the fuel tank.
Since all the data from the ‘box’ gets sent to the ‘cloud’ for storage, the unit will also need a SIM card that comes with at least a Php300 data plan from a telco company.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Aside from the basic ‘tracking’ services that it offers, the SafeSat Box’s main selling point is the ability to reduce fuel consumption with the information it provides.
The ‘box’ knows everything.
It how long the engine is turned on and how long the vehicle has been idle before it moves for the first time. It also takes note of the time the vehicle is idle in traffic and reports data to the cloud every three minutes.
The owner can even set a ‘perimeter’ and a color-coded speed meter that will alert the system in case the vehicle goes beyond the preset geo-fence that has been established or goes beyond the desired speed limit. It is not designed though to disable the vehicle in case it crosses the set boundaries or limit the speed of the vehicle it is attached to.
To compute for fuel consumption, the owner needs to manually calculate for the result based on the fuel used and distance travelled data from the ‘box.’
It comes with a panic or emergency button that can be conveniently placed for easy access and is designed to send a notification to the owner once the vehicle gets into an accident.
HOW CAN THE OWNER MONITOR THIS?
On a smartphone or any tablet, the owner can only view logs that determine the real-time location of the vehicle using the S Trakker app that’s free to download from the Google Marketplace or the Apple App Store. The company is still working on a Windows Mobile operating system version of the app.
If you want full accessibility to all the data the ‘box’ provides, www.satellite.com.ph is where you wanna go. Armed with a username and password, all features and data are available for viewing by the owner at anytime of the day.
TRACKING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
With a P16,000 price tag, a monthly subscription fee of P850 and an admin/username fee of P350 each (Two people can monitor the account with different usernames for P700), it is not the cheapest alternative out there but it is one of the most comprehensive.
It is ideal for fleet management and nervous parents with mischievous adolescents but certainly not for individuals with stalker-like tendencies.
Thirty minutes is all it takes to install it. There’s no maintenance required and it comes with a six-month company warranty. So ease your worries and see how the SafeSat Box can change the way you view tracking in the 21st Century.
GPS receivers come in a variety of formats, from devices integrated into cars, phones, and watches, to dedicated devices such as cellphones, computers and Ipads.
Portability, availability, Global Coverage notifications in your hands, real time monitoring, and safety with 99.9% server up time is the name of the game of Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management System Corporation as it will launch SafeSat today.
SafeSat is a tracking application system that will surely address increasing accidents and injuries.
GPS or Global Positioning System is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The system provides critical capabilities to military, civil and commercial users around the world. It is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.
Advances in technology and new demands on the existing system have now led to efforts to modernize the GPS system and implement the next generation of GPS III satellites and Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX). In addition to GPS, other systems are in use or under development.
This technology will be introduced in Iloilo City by Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management System Corporation. Its device, called SafeSat, will launch tomorrow at Hotel del Rio.