Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tech Time ::: PebbleBee Bluetooth Tracking Device

All images via Pebblebee Kickstarter

For months now, I have been reading about various little doodads that you affix to your keys or your phone or put in your wallet/purse, that help you keep track of everything and help retrieve them in the event you leave them behind or they're removed from you without your knowledge, say your kid walks off with your keys or remote, or some jerk walks off with your wallet.  

PebbleBee is the most intriguing option out there, and has well exceeded it's Kickstarter goal, with still 16 days to go.  It's one that has excited me enough to put it on my shortlist and become one I might even back. (Remember how I said I need to stay off Kickstarter? I really need to do that...) 

There are several similar ideas in development, such as Tile and Linquet (the one I was really interested in but couldn't quite pull the trigger on) among a few others, and among the main reasons that I avoided jumping in with those were that at least one of those options was a subscription service, and almost all were functioning on non-replaceable batteries, or if they had replaceable batteries, they didn't last that long. At least one required that you return the dead device back, and buy new ones to replace it with.  Not particularly cost effective, but admittedly lower profile.  Also, none of the others are water-resistant in any way, and while I don't expect I'd use them on too many things that get wet, that's still insanely useful. 

Check out this little video (I got a good giggle out of the beginning...but I am a giant child!) about the item from their Kickstarter:

Each option mentioned above comes with a companion app, and this and others work with other users to help you find your things and return them back to you.  Something that I liked when I was reading about PebbleBee is the programmable nature of it, and the three various devices they're developing.  The ability to use the Hornet option as a motion detector is absolutely awesome, and was a totally huge sales feature for me. And the Dragon, with wireless charging, is also kind of fascinating to me.  The option to make the button on the side call a contact on any of the three, say your spouse or even 911, is equally appealing. 

The ability to get an alarm on your phone, or make your keyring beep or flash if you're trying to find your keys in your purse or in your couch cushions, or in my case, on your driveway, is one of those first world luxuries that can save you an hour or two of panic while you tear your house apart looking. If you don't see the flashing light or hear the beep, the app can help you actually locate the item with the tracking range finder. And for parents, putting a tracking device on your young child...hey, I see no fault in that. 

Does this idea appeal to you enough to back the Kickstarter? Or have you signed on to one of the similar options?  What are your thoughts?  

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