http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/5991568/list/All-Is-Not-Lost–New-Gadgets-Help-You-Find-Your-Stufflose stuff around the house. Keys. Wallet. And, of course, the TV remote. It is frustrating, time consuming and always seems to happen when we’re running late.
Fortunately, low-cost gadgets can eliminate the panicky ransacking process and simply reveal the location of whatever it is you’re looking for. They use wireless technology and in some cases even smart phones. Here are three available now or in the near future.
home electronics by cobratag.com
Cobra Tag Universal – $69.99
The Cobra Tag Universal is a Bluetooth device you can use as a keychain, and it comes with an app for your iPhone or Android phone. You can also attach it to your remote control or any other household object.
When you press a virtual button in the app, the keychain device beeps loudly. And the reverse also works: If you press an actual button on the keychain, your phone makes a loud beep.
Best of all, you can tell the app to sound an alarm on both objects if they become separated. It can also send you a map link to the location of both the phone and the keychain.
The device would not be possible without the brand-new version of Bluetooth technology that came out recently. The new technology enables devices to use very little power while remaining on all the time — for in this case up to a year.
home electronics by indiegogo.com
StickNFind – $30
StickNFind includes “stickers,” each the size of a stack of three quarters. They are designed to connect to household objects with a sticky surface; then they connect to your iPhone or Android phone via Bluetooth. A special app lets you use the phone to track the sticker. StickNFind has been crowd funded on Indiegogo and should ship in the first half of 2013.
Inside that tiny package is a watch battery, plus a Bluetooth electronic device that connects to your phone whenever it’s within about 100 feet or so, according to the manufacturer. When you select the object you want to find (say, the cat, with a StickNFind sticker on the collar) and press any of three buttons in the app, the sticker beeps, buzzes or flashes a light.
The app won’t be able to tell you the exact location of any of the stickers, but it will be able to tell you how close one is. You can walk around the house, getting warmer or colder until you find it, much like finding your phone by dialing your number and tracking it down by its ring tone.
It also will have a “virtual leash” feature, which sounds an alarm when the stickered object is farther away from your phone from the distance you set. This prevents you from, say, leaving the house without your wallet or alerts you when your child leaves the front yard.
The app is said to track up to 20 stickers simultaneously, and you can see them all displayed on the app screen at once.
home electronics by findonefindall.com
Find One, Find All (FOFA) – $24
Nearly all stuff finders have one type of device that attaches to whatever you want to be able to find, and another gadget that turns on the alert system.
A product called FOFA takes a unique approach: Every attached device also can trigger the alert on other devices. FOFA stands for “Find One, Find All.” It has a 30-foot range.
The devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, one fits in a wallet. Another size works well as a keychain or on a dog collar. Though there are different sizes, each has a keypad with numbers ranging from one to six. When you press the number that corresponds to, for instance, your lost TV remote, the FOFA unit attached to it beeps.
FOFA, which uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology rather than Bluetooth, has an XD Proximity Detect feature, which tells you when you’re very close to an object that might be buried in such a way as to muffle the alert sound.