Why is it that I can never find my keys when I really, really need them. If it’s a sunny Saturday and I’m slowly making my way out to pick up lunch, my keys are always right where I remember having left them. If it’s a Tuesday morning and I’m rushing out of the house to a meeting that I’m already late for, my keys are nowhere to be found. I had come to terms with this horrible phenomenon several years ago. But now, thanks to a new solution from the makers of the popular location tag TrackR, it appears as though all hope might not be lost.
TrackR raised more than $1 million to launch its first product, a tiny gadget that has since become one of the most popular mobile object location solutions in the world. For those unfamiliar with the TrackR, it’s a small device the size of a small watch face that attaches to anything you want in order to track it alongside a companion app for the iPhone or Android. The TrackR uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone to tell you when you’re close to the object to which it is attached.
Better yet, the TrackR app can stay connected to a TrackR using Bluetooth Low Energy and notify you if the connection is severed. So, for example, placing a TrackR tag on your luggage while traveling will mean you get a notification if your bag is taken. Then what? That’s the question most similar products can’t answer, but TrackR devices will ping any other users who have the TrackR app open. This way if you lose something, you can still see its location as it passes by other TrackR users.
It’s a smart solution as is, but it’s about to get even smarter.
TrackR on Monday announced a brand new product called TrackR Atlas that takes object location to a whole new level. Using a series of tiny devices that plug into any standard wall outlet, Atlas maps out your home and can pinpoint any object’s exact location. Atlas units can tell how close or far an object is based on signal strength, so they know precisely which room your missing object is in. Once you’re there, you can ring the attached TrackR tag to pinpoint your item.
Also cool is Atlas’ integration with Amazon Echo. This nifty setup bridges the physical and digital worlds, allowing the device to respond to questions like, Alexa, where are my keys?
“We started TrackR nearly six years ago with a simple idea: what if we could pass the task of remembering where items are located to our smartphones and tablets,” TrackR CEO Chris Herbert said. “Today, TrackR Atlas brings this concept to life and advances the Bluetooth tracker category to completely automate home and office organization.”
And now, for the bad news: you can’t buy TrackR Atlas just yet. As was the case with the original TrackR, Atlas is first being made available for preorder via an Indiegogo campaign. Atlas starts at just $39, and an eight-pack is available for $250 that can cover most homes. Other quantities are also available for order, and many purchase options include free TrackR bravo units. Also of note, a launch-day special adds one additional free TrackR Atlas device to each order.
The company is seeking $50,000 in order to kick off mass production, and I have a feeling it will pass that goal rather quickly.