Apple co-founder Stephen Wozniak has developed a new technology – WozNet – that promises an end to lost pets and children, and a dramatic reduction in car and property crime.

The New York Times calls WozNet: "Wireless location-monitoring technology", and says the devices will help people track their animals, children or property.

The technology was developed by Wozniak's secretive Wheels of Zeus company, which has struck production deals with two consumer-electronic-device manufacturers to produce commercial systems based on the technology. The first products should ship next year, said the New York times.

The solution consists of a radio signal and GPS-based wireless network capable of tracking locator tags within a two mile radius. At the centre of the network is a home-base station that can track hundreds of tags. The network can also be set up to notify owners when certain events happen, such as a child arriving at school, or a car leaving its parking space.

WozNet also integrates security and privacy measures, and the network works in such a way that each hub can use neighboring hubs to maintain communications with dedicated locator tags over a longer distance – the power of WozNet is likely to grow as it becomes commercially successful.

Company CEO Wozniak said: "My vision in starting this company was to create technologies that would be helpful to people’s everyday lives. We’re developing a breakthrough network technology that fills a substantial gap in the wireless market. We now have a team of savvy and experienced business leaders in place to bring our technology to market."