A tobacconist in France has started a company selling a GPS device to track cartons of cigarettes, according to Thinxtra, which provides Low Power Wireless Area Network (LWPAN) and devices.

The device activates if moved beyond a certain zone, then sends an SMS alert. The shop owner can track the device online for up to 72 hours.

It uses trackers from the French company Tifiz.The Tifix Xpress trackers combine a small battery-less Thinxtra Xpress tracker, which operates on Sigfox’s LWPAN network, and French company Ticatag’s Geolocation platform.

It’s not a cheap strategy – the solution costs $500, plus a monthly $6 subscription fee – and doesn’t stop thieves in the act. But then the developer of the device, Vincent Letoqueux, was once robbed of cigarettes worth more than $4,000.

No doubt we’ll see more asset tracking at the retail and consumer level as the cost and size of the technology falls. For example, Australian company Leash It offers Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) products to track personal items, such as bicycles and luggage.