GTX Corp — an acronym for Global Trek Xploration — was an early player in the location-tracking wearable tech market. When it was founded in 2002, as the name suggests, GTX was originally focused on outdoor adventurers, but they now operate in a much broader market: anyone looking to keep track of a person or other valuable.
In early 2015, they launched a product specifically aimed at helping caregivers keep track of their loved ones with dementia, Alzeimers or other conditions that cause a person to wander. They now offer a suite of products they describe as an IoT Personal Location Services (PLS) platform. These products use patented tracking methods to provide continuous, real-time location coordinates rendered on a map on a GTX portal.
GTX Corp is a holding company that owns and operates two subsidiaries and has been publicly traded since 2008. It is headquartered in Los Angeles and has a European distribution and fulfillment center in Ireland / U.K. They also have international reseller/distributors in 13 countries and service customers in over 20 countries.
We spoke to Founder, Chairman and CEO Patrick Bertagna about GTX Corp and the opportunity he sees in the 50+ market.
Longevity Network: What does GTX Corp, the company do?
Patrick Bertagna: GTX Corp is a pioneer and innovator in Smart, Mobile and Wearable GPS, cellular and BLE tracking and recovery location based services. Through its proprietary IoT enterprise monitoring platform GTX offers a complete end-to-end solution of hardware, software and connectivity, backed by an extensive portfolio of patents.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with distributors in 14 countries and customers in over 35 countries, GTX is known for its award-winning patented GPS SmartSole® – Think Dr. Scholl’s meets LoJack– the world’s first invisible wearable technology device created for those at risk of wandering due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism and traumatic brain injury.
LN: Can you tell us about the GPS SmartSole and how it works?
PB: The GPS SmartSoles are a wearable tracking and monitoring device that communicates the location of the wearer without user intervention. The GPS Smart Insole is a communication platform sending location and movement to the GTX app or portal and in the near future will include vital signs and bio-metrics, such as heart rate, pulse, weight and temperature. The simplicity behind the SmartSole Platform is that when someone wanders off or becomes lost, a geo-fence alert is emailed or text, with a direct link to a Google map plotting the wanderer’s location, speed and bearing.
LN: What opportunity did you want to address with the development of your technology?
PB: We believe the most effective technical solutions are the ones most easily used. Our goal was to develop miniaturized, low power consumption GPS location finding technology packaged in the most portable user friendly format- hence we pioneered what is now the multi-billion dollar wearable tech industry. With this technology, the opportunities were vast- ranging from seniors with cognitive memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, children with autism, military and law enforcement, mobile work force and high value assets. Our patented technology delivers a new level of functional oversight, security and peace of mind to a wide variety of audiences and needs.
LN: Who are your primary users? In what ways can your products benefit the 50+ population?
PB: Those at risk of wandering due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism and traumatic brain injury. Currently there are 100 million people worldwide who are part of this at risk wandering group and that number is expected to reach 277 million by 2050.
The 50+ population are more technically inclined and live farther away from loved ones than ever before in history, our product empowers them to be more free and enjoy life more while providing real time information to loved ones even if they are hundreds or thousands of miles apart.
LN: How did you assemble your team?
PB: The original team was a group of like-minded business people that I had worked with in my previous ventures, all with certain skill sets that helped us get past the idea phase and into the realizations phase. We had a big idea and people wanted to come join us, over the years our inner circle kept growing and we kept being introduced to new experts in their respective fields and we built out our team. I’m proud to say Louis Rosenbaum the co-founder is still with us as both a board member and head of operations and finance. Many of our board members and management have been with us for over a decade. We have a very passionate and committed team.
LN: How has GTX the company differed from what you envisioned it would be (if at all)?
PB: At its core not much- we set out to make a best in class miniaturized tracking solution and sell that all over the world and we now have active customers in over 35 countries. We have diversified somewhat as we don’t just make and sell products, we also license our technology through our extensive patent portfolio. It did take a lot longer than expected for all the moving parts in the eco system to come to fruition, but the good news is we have a lot more runway in front of us as new technologies become available the path the what’s possible keeps on growing…
LN: What do you wish you had known before developing your concept?
PB: It was going to take a lot more time, money and effort.
LN: What most excites you about the aging and or health technology market?
PB: The size and scope of this growing market – The advancements in science and medicine enables people to live longer and they expect a longer and higher quality of life in their sunset years. Globalization has increased disposable income so hundreds of millions of people now have access to technology, first time in history- by 2020 there will be 6 billion smartphones in use across the globe. It’s truly a remarkable time to be part of this and watch the next generation break 100 years in average life span.
LN: What is your best piece of advice for startups who want to include or target the 50+ market?
PB: Balance your messaging, this audience wants information not just tweets or YouTube videos. Provide a quality product or service, it’s not just about price and have patience, this demo typically does not impulse buy.
LN: Do you have any other products in development?
PB: Yes we have several in the works, ranging from home health monitoring, bio metrics and we are also developing products and solutions for the military and law enforcement. We are also looking at developing a tracking, monitoring and compliance solution for the medical industry.
LN: Where do you see GTX five years from now?
PB: Staying at the forefront of this industry, developing new applications for tracking and monitoring people and high value assets. It’s in our DNA- we all want to know where someone or something is and GTX is in the Where is business.
Patrick Bertagna is a serial entrepreneur, inventor and thought leader in the wearable technology industry with 35+ years in building technology and consumer product companies. Since 2002 Patrick has been the founder, Chairman and CEO of GTX Corp (GTXO), a pioneer in the wearable technology industry and co-inventor of over a dozen GPS and communication protocol patents currently in the GTX IP portfolio. GTX has been at the forefront of Smart, Mobile and Wearable GPS tracking and recovery location based solutions and is known for its award-winning, patented GPS SmartSole® – Think Dr. Scholl’s meets LoJack – the world’s first invisible wearable tracking device created for those at risk of wandering due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism and traumatic brain injury.
Mr. Bertagna also sits on the JBF Board which engages in philanthropic initiatives around the world, empowering women and children living in impoverished and underdeveloped communities by enabling food security; promoting access to education and cultural exchanges; assisting in medical aid and disaster relief; while building and promoting peace.
Mr. Bertagna was born in the South of France, grew up in Los Angeles, went to Cal State University of Northridge and has lived in several countries throughout his career and is fluent in French and Spanish. He has formed alliances with Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, T-Mobile, EE, AT&T, Telefonica, Google, Federated Stores, Netscape and GE; and has been a keynote speaker at numerous industry trade shows and conferences.