Lost Wallet? Device Tracker Uses 'Crowd GPS', Smartphone
A $30 tracking device could make it easier to find lost wallets or other items, but there's a big catch. While the "TrackR" range works fine around the house, if you lose your wallet while away from home, you may be reliant on other people having subscribed to the service.
The range is billed as being the smallest tracking devices on the market. It comes in two models: the $30 TrackrR wallet 2.0, which is a two millimeter thick credit card-sized device for putting into a wallet, and the $25 TrackR Pixel, which is a similar size to a quarter coin but a little thicker, designed for attaching to keys and other small items. Both have user-replaceable batteries. (Source: tomsguide.com)
Tracker Device Can Ring And Glow
In both cases, users can find their lost items by searching for the device through a smartphone app that not only shows the location on a map, but indicates when they are getting closer. It's also possible to make the TrackR ring and, in the case of the Pixel, light up to make it easier to find.
Phone users can also reverse the process by pairing the TrackR device to the phone, then keeping the TrackR in a safe place at home. Pressing a button on the TrackR will make the phone ring, even if it is set to silent mode - assuming of course that the user notices it is missing before the battery runs out.
Customers Create Mutual Search Network
The big drawback is that the system primarily works on Bluetooth, meaning that the TrackR has to be within 100 meters or so of the user's phone. Beyond that, the company uses a creative 'crowd GPS' workaround by which a user can mark their device as lost. After that, the next time another TrackR user goes within Bluetooth range of the lost device (and has Bluetooth and the app enabled), the user will get an alert with its location.
How well this works depends on how many people use the device. It will also vary depending on location, being much more useful in busy urban centers than in rural areas. (Source: theverge.com)
What's Your Opinion?
Would such a device be useful for you? If so, would the price tag make it worthwhile? Is the 'crowd GPS' solution sensible and do you trust the company to take care of potential security and privacy problems?
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