01.Trackr wireless proximity sensor
Trackr gps device
Price: $10 (shipping and handling)
The TrackR device is designed to help you find your lost stuff. Maybe you can stick it to your kids to make sure they behave, or maybe to your grandparents when they wander off without telling you…
The StckR TrackR is one of thousands of products that started life as a Kickstarter project and is now available online to help you find your lost stuff. The proximity sensor in the TrackR collects proximity and GPS data of anything you tend to misplace, or that others may find attractive, such as your smartphone, tablet, or that coffee mug that your work colleagues keep stealing.
Setting up your TrackR
Once you pair the device to the app via Bluetooth (note: you need to have a phone using iOS7 or Android 4.4), a GPS chip inside the TrackR sends its position to the TrackR app - or you can use the app to make the device beep if you are close by. If you have the TrackR and can’t find your phone, you can press the button on the TrackR and make your phone ring. The app can also be set to notify you when you have moved away from the tracked item, such as when you leave your wallet and keys at a cafe.
There are some downsides. Although the TrackR is quite small, about the same size as two dollar coins stuck together, in real-world situations it becomes difficult to attach the TrackR unobtrusively to the device. For example, if your phone was stolen, instead of lost, it would be easy for the thief to recognise the TrackR attached to the phone and simply step on it or - even worse - leave it somewhere to lead you on a wild goose chase. Also, the device isn’t a pinpoint locator, so don’t expect to get any closer than 20 metres to the TrackR. That means if the TrackR is attached to an object in a noisy area you may not get close enough to physically see it or hear the beep.
A crowd-sourcing feature is an interesting concept that could add to the usefulness of the TrackR if enough people own the device or use the app. When an item goes missing with a TrackR device attached, all TrackR-enabled phones will begin to search for the item. If another user passes nearby, that user’s phone will ping the TrackR server to update you on the new GPS coordinates.