Can't find the keys — or the family dog? A new project can help track them and other easy-to-lose objects using Bluetooth-enabled buttons.
A group of Bluetooth gadget designers is looking to make Bluetooth "stickers" — stiff devices about the size of a U.S. quarter — that users can stick to their wallets, kids' shoes, pets' collars and other objects. The stickers are designed to communicate with a smartphone app, called Stick-N-Find, that has several settings to help people find their stuff.
The designers have a campaign at Indiegogo, a crowd-funding platform. With 42 days left before the end of their funding campaign, they've already raised more than the $70,000 they asked for. They have prototypes of both the Stick-N-Find stickers and the app and expect to send funders stickers in March 2013, according to the campaign page. Those interested in getting some Stick-N-Finds for themselves can visit Indiegogo to support the project and advance-order stickers.
The Stick-N-Find app's settings include a "radar" feature that shows how far away sticker-tagged objects are from the phone. The app isn't able to determine direction, however, so users will have to wander a bit, watching the screen to see if they're getting "warmer" or "colder" to the remote control, purse or pet they want to find.
Other settings automatically alert users when they're close to an object, or when an object wanders away. The designers suggest users put Stick-N-Find stickers on their luggage during airplane trips, so that their phones will alert them when their bags come around on the carousel at baggage claim.
The stickers work from about 100 feet (30 meters) away, according to the Stick-N-Find Indiegogo page. They use watch batteries that should last about a year with 30 minutes of use a day. They should work withn ewer Apple and Android smartphones and tablets that have Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Low Energy, the designers say.