Stop Losing Your Stuff — 5 Gadgets to Track Down What You’ve Misplaced, Had Stolen or Just Lost
As we get busier, we get more stuff to make our lives easier, but because we're busy, we sometimes lose that stuff and then lose time looking for it. It's time we stopped losing our stuff and our time, yes?
We also shell out all kinds of cash for expensive tech toys, bicycles and designer bags, only to have them lifted by criminals. Enter trackers. Investing in a tracker can save you time, headaches and money by keeping track of your stuff for you and showing you exactly where it is when you can't see it.
Your Keys, Wallet, Luggage, Purse — Pretty Much Anything Like That
For not having legs, stuff sure can wander off and disappear. Between our absent-minded placing of items and the sticky fingers of pickpockets, all of us need help keeping track of our most treasured and useful items at one time or another. This problem is easily solved with a tiny device called Tile. Hook this to your keys, wallet or luggage or stick it inside your purse, to your laptop or anything you don't want to lose track of and you're set.
You can either make the Tile ring or use the Tile app to locate it by distance. Even though it doesn't have GPS, Tile will note the last place your phone saw the item and map it for you. You can even log into the Tile app on someone else's device (in case it's your phone that's missing) and share Tiles with family members so every one can find the remote. Finally, Tile is crowdsourced, so if you mark something as lost, if the item is near another Tile device, it will be noted on the map and you'll get a notification.
There are several tracking devices you can use to make sure you don't separate yourself from your phone. Generally, they have a key fob that communicates with your smartphone and beeps at you if you get too far away from your mobile, preventing you from leaving it behind. Proximo is a gadget that will do just that. You can use the key fob to locate your keys and keep you close to your phone. You can also get Proximo tags to keep track of up to five items.
Setting your home and work as quiet zones will keep the fob from notifying you every time you get up from your desk or walk away from your key holder. The Proximo app will also let you know how far you are from your item, make the tag or fob beep so you can hear it or keep track of the last place your phone was near the item. Also, if you're willing to wait, you should check out the New Wallet on Kickstarter. This is a case for your phone as well as a wallet and tracker all in one.
Tracking devices aren't just for keys and luggage, they can also be handy for finding your car. This applies not only if your car has been stolen, but also if you just can't remember where you parked. It happens to the best of us. For this use, try a Protag Duet. This little gadget can just sit in your cup holder, glove box or map pocket and then you can track it with the Protag app on your phone because it will note the last place your phone was near the Duet. You've got one on your keys, why not leave one in your car for that night you park downtown and you can't remember what the cross street was?
You can also use a Duet to alert you when you're walking away from your phone so you don't accidentally leave it behind anywhere. And Protag has other devices that can keep you from being separated from your wallet, briefcase, luggage or other items.
Your Kids or Elderly Relatives
People are definitely more precious than, you know, "stuff," so the most important and helpless people in your life should also get to have their own trackers. This is where BeLuvv's Guardian device comes in. This is a tracking device made specifically for finding humans. It's aimed at children, but can also be used for your loved ones who may not always be in control of their faculties and might have a tendency to wander. It can be worn as a bracelet, or the device can be removed and placed in a pocket. You simply set a safe range for the wearer and then can be notified by the app when he or she has wandered outside of that range.
You can also set co-guardians so other caregivers you've approved can see where your child is. And, in the case of a missing-child emergency, BeLuvv has a worldwide network that can crowdsource the location of a missing wearer by pinging you when they've come close to another Guardian device.
Pets sometimes like to wander, and they're terrible about calling to let you know where they are and when they'll be home. If this is a bummer for you, hook up your Fido or Fluffy with a Gecko tracker. Like most other trackers, the Gecko can show the last location of a lost item on a map, as well as give you a radar view of how close you are to the item. What makes it a bit different is that it is GPS-enabled and has a motion sensor, so it can let you know when an item moves or is outside its safe area.
The search for your lost pet can also be crowdsourced with the help of Gecko's affiliation with the Hubble Cloud, notifying you when the tag is near another Hubble app user. You can also enlist the help of friends and family with the Gecko app in the same way. There's also Puppy by BeLuvv for lost pets, which works in much the same way as their Guardian device for lost people.
There are plenty of tracking devices to choose from, so you can pick which one works the best for you. The costs can vary as much as the capabilities. Check out TrackR stickers, Locca, Chipolo, StickNFind, and Wallet TrackR for more tracking choices.