tracker

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tracker

[′trak·ər]
(computer science)
An input device used in a virtual environment, which is capable of reporting its location in space and its orientation.

Bluetooth tracker

A small device that is attached to items such as a phone, tablet, keyring or wallet for tracking purposes. A mobile app communicates with the tracker via Bluetooth, and the tracker can be signaled to sound a beep when the item cannot be found. The app also records the location of the tracker the last time it was in range.

Even When Out of Range
When the tracker is out of Bluetooth range, the assistance of all other users with that same tracker app is enlisted behind the scenes. All running apps pick up the signals from the trackers of all the users of the same product in the vicinity. The signals sent to the vendor's cloud are used to pinpoint their geographic locations. See vehicle tracking.


Popular Trackers
The Tile (left) and TrackR Bravo (right) are examples of Bluetooth trackers that are small enough to place almost anywhere.

tracking

(1) See Bluetooth tracker, vehicle tracking and child tracking.

(2) The recording of an event. See tracking cookie and email tracker.

(3) Synchronizing a reading or writing mechanism with a rotating platter. For example, a stylus must maintain a smooth contact with the groove in a vinyl phonograph record. A laser must align itself precisely to the tracks of a CD.

(4) In desktop publishing, the consistent letterspacing of text. Tracking is used to expand or contract the amount of text on a page by expanding or reducing the amount of space between letters. It differs from kerning in that it is applied to an entire font or to a range of text, whereas kerning refers to certain letter pairs.