As ever more data flows onto the Web, we need tools to track changes in that data and alert us to new data that we’re interested in. Examples of data that can be tracked include shopping deals, places, companies, home prices, sports scores, local events, even crime reports! Add to that emerging Internet of Things sources such as sensor data, RFID tags, proximity, and more.
Last week we listed and categorized some of the leading topic-tracking tools on the Web (see also the follow-up post). The tools we listed were geared towards tracking news or media information on the Web. In this post, we look at a leading service that tracks more discrete, faster changing types of data.
Trackle is an impressive alerts service that we first reviewed a year ago. Other similar services we’ve covered before are Yotify and Alerts.com. In our first review of Trackle, we were impressed by “the sheer quantity of alerts they’ve made available.” It’s expanded since then – you can see the current list here and in the screenshot below.
Tracking shopping deals is the most immediate commercial application for alert services that go beyond ‘topics.’
Trackle offers a large selection of feeds to subscribe to, including coupons, product price drops,
deals on Amazon (tracking when the price for a product falls within a price range you’re willing to pay), new product reviews, product recalls, daily deals, latest buzz in shopping, price protection
(“…find out if the price of a recent purchase drops in time to apply for a rebate or partial refund.”).
That selection from Trackle is impressive and will grow even more when data from sensors and RFID tags are added in the near future.
Imagine for example getting notified, when you walk into a bookstore, that a book you have on your wishlist is available on special in that store. Or you’re doing your groceries and your phone alerts you to a deal in the store that day on blueberries, which you’ve marked as your favorite fruit and something that you want to track the price of. These kinds of scenarios could be achieved with a combination of services like Trackle, your smartphone, and RFID tags on product items.
Those examples are just a starter for ten, we can expect more sophisticated alert systems to evolve once Internet of Things ramps up in retail stores and elsewhere.
For now, let us know in the comments your favorite alert services!