Elizabeth Smart is a name that will ring out for many Americans. Just past midnight on June 5, 2002, the child was kidnapped from her own bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. For nine terrifying months, Smart’s kidnappers eluded the police until a lead from “America’s Most Wanted” clued them into to her whereabouts, effectively ending the harrowing saga and delivering a happy ending to the family and millions of relieved Americans. Like many across the country, Patrick Bertagna watched the Smart story unfold on television and set out to do something so that this would never happen again.
Compelled to protect children everywhere and safeguard loved ones of all ages, Bertagna formed GTX Corp (GTXO) and has now grown his smart wearables company into a recognized industry leader. Just this year, GTX’s award-winning technology has been featured on “Keeping Up with Kardashians,” showcased at Super Bowl LII and even made a splash at the star-studded CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
However, GTX has serious momentum building beyond all the lights and cameras. The company has done the yeoman’s work of pounding the pavement to broaden their subscriber base and increase sales. Moreover, in early March, GTX expanded their purchase options, allowing for greater payment flexibility for customers. The new pricing plans are specifically designed to help families working with a budget, and they will also drive traffic to the company’s revamped website as well as expand consumer market penetration.
Undoubtedly, GTX’s success is grounded in the company’s pioneering IoT and GPS-based tracking products and services – specifically their renowned flagship product, the GPS SmartSole® – all of which is backed by an impressive 85 patents. Always evolving and growing, the company has used this solid and versatile IP as a stepping stone to expand their target market from originally just the elderly to now children, the mobile workforce, athletes and even partnerships with law enforcement and a sizeable contract with Edwards Air Force Base.
In conjunction with their growing consumer offering is a wide-ranging distribution channel, GTX put significant emphasis on their global network in 2017 and can now boast distributors in Europe, Central and South America along with budding networks in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Not to mention, the company’s vertical vision has created important partnerships with ORBOCOMM (ORBC), HeartMath (a stress-reducing guide for GPS SmartSole caregivers), Trusense (household activity tracking) and, last but not least, Veristride, all of which are allowing GTX to capitalize on a number of emerging tailwinds and demonstrate technology that has been continually validated in multiple sectors.
A Stout Portfolio Destined for Growth
With all this under their belt, GTX recently announced an upcoming suite of new devices that will further expand their already robust portfolio and lead them far beyond just the “where is” business.
According to the company, GTX will soon launch GPS SmartSole® for pre-teens, the Invisabelt for young children, an OEM version ready to be embedded in customized form factors designed for mobile asset tracking, a weapons-tracking device and Smart Step™ insoles designed to monitor activity, mobility and balance.
“We have been evaluating different market segments, looking at different opportunities that we can leverage our core GPS tracking expertise, wearable technology platform, intellectual property portfolio and Made in USA manufacturing capabilities,” Bertagna said in the announcement. “As part of this initiative, we are working with our channels partners to introduce new products for both existing and new markets, including tracking solutions for kids, providing customized hardware for enterprise mobile assets, developing new products for military & law enforcement and with our partner Veristride, we have begun testing a new line of health & wellness insoles created specifically for the general baby boomer population.”
The biometric insoles built with Veristride use tiny sensors, artificial intelligence and advance algorithms to analyze a person’s gait and predict if they might be prone to falling. The insoles debuted at CES 2018 and signify a breakthrough in the senior market (Bloomberg predicts remote senior care is a $50 billion market), but the groundbreaking technology also presents applications that can be utilized in every emergency room across the country or for parents and caretakers raising children with autism or traumatic brain injuries.
“Our experience and knowledge in miniaturizing technology in the wearable space is allowing us to expand beyond just tracking seniors with Alzheimer’s,” stated GTX”s President of Business Development Andrew Duncan. “We are now looking at the kids market, predictive and preventive market and a host of enterprise applications. Our expansion into the health and wellness market by simply and accurately monitoring how someone walks is especially exciting. We will be able to predict when a person might be susceptible to a fall, which is an area of vital importance in the overall senior care industry and with fall risk injuries accounting for over $31 billion in the U.S. annually, we believe this is a far larger market for us to explore. Of course the kids market could also be very significant.”
Making an Investment in the Lifeblood of GTX: Intellectual Property
The growing addressable market opportunity for GTX is not only evidence of the demand for this kind of technology but also underscores a company that is in full control of their IP platform and empowered by its potential. Bertagna and his team fully understand their business model and are completely confident in their technology’s ability to impact a multi-billion-dollar market. As a highlight of this fact, GTX shored up their intellectual property position by adding U.S. patent 9,910,862.
“This patent complements GTX’s three-pronged approach to protecting their business and products,” said Larry E. Henneman, Jr., GTX Corp’s patent counsel. “Now, in addition to their shoe/insole form factor and their innovative communication methods, GTX has patent protection for their server-side platform, which is independent of the specific design of any particular tracking device. The patented platform expands GTX Corp’s business opportunities by enabling GTX to host multiple, different tracking-based businesses on a single platform.”
This recent patent protects the server-side of the GPS platform strengthening a key prong of the GTX product model. In the future, the company will look to further solidify the other two platform processes: device and communication technology.
“As a pioneer in the wearable tech industry and watching many of the tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft strategically navigate, we are pleased we made the early investment in IP, had excellent counsel along the way and have continued for over a decade building our portfolio which we believe is starting to garner some industry attention,” Bertagna said.
In that same announcement, GTX announced that the GPS SmartSole had been honored yet again. The innovative insole embedded tracking device – think Dr. Scholl’s meets LoJack – won second prize in the prestigious Tomorrow’s Care 2018 awards. The magazine, Tomorrow’s Care, is circulated decision-makers and stakeholders across the care industry.
Although, it must be said, award ceremonies are not something new to GTX and the GPS SmartSole. The company has previously been recognized as the Most Innovative Tracking & Recovery Technology winner in the 2017 Telecoms Awards, one of the 25 Most Empowering IoT Companies by 1IT Enterprise Magazine in 2016, and finished second only to Microsoft (MSFT) in the 2015 CTIA E-Tech Awards in the Wearables, Health, Fitness & Wellness category. The company’s GPS SmartSole is also being used in a George Mason University study on wandering among people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Further invested in their award-winning intellectual property, GTX is sitting in a comfortable position to continue its upward growth. All in all, the leadership team’s strategic vision has quickly taken the company’s potential target market from 6 million to now over 72 million. This fact alone should make potential investors stop and take notice.
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