Losing things is never fun, and finding them can be a hair-pulling teeth-clenching chore, so wouldn’t it be nice if technology found an answer?
There may actually be a solution for this, arriving in the form of a tracking chip that you can attach to computers, dog collars, keys, cameras, remotes… basically anything with a surface or a key loop.
The tracker is called the “TrackR” — convenient name, eh? — and it’s a small device shaped like a coin that can be attached to devices in a variety of form-factors including one that is actually a sticker.
In a way, we’re reminded of spy shows and movies, with the ability to place tracking on something that you want to, well, track, but this gadget isn’t going to talk to mobile phones and tablets through a GPS specifically, but rather through communication to your phone and the necessary TrackR app to tell you where the object last was.
If the TrackR you’ve attached is too out of range, you can rely on the idea of “crowd GPS” which will ping the TrackR chip if another user of TrackR gets close enough to the tracked object and send you a GPS location through the app.
That first case — sending back a location of where it last was — is going to be the most likely use of TrackR since no one is actually using these yet, but as time goes on and adoption gets higher, crowd GPS could actually become useful, and if you lose an umbrella, another user of the TrackR system may inadvertently find it (you’ll just have to wrestle control of that umbrella from its new owner).
Pricing of these TrackR chips does need to be taken into consideration, however, as each will set you back around $40, with the adhesive-backed TrackR sticker, TrackR Bravo key ring, and TrackR Wallet slip-in each costing a good $39.95, which could make the fear of losing something a tad costly if you apply it to everything.
If you do grab one, compatibility for the TrackR app extends to iOS and Android, with any device supporting Bluetooth LE good to work with these, which should include iPhone 4S and above, and most mid-range and above Android devices from 2014 onwards.
Availability of the TrackR can be found at select retailers including Anaconda across Australia.