Losing wallets and misplacing home keys are the stuff nightmares are made of. Parting with credit cards (with generous credit limits) and the fear of them being misused can be agonising. The good news is that you don't have to rely on good Samaritans to return these precious belongings to you. You can keep an eye on them at all times through Bluetooth tags and GPS-enabled trackers. Here's the low-down on the most handy tracking devices for your keys, wallets, luggage, pets and even kids.
To track your home or car keys or even your wallet, you can use Bluetooth tags designed for short distances. These are powered by Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy and pair over an app on your smartphone. As soon as the tag goes out of the Bluetooth range, it starts beeping. Evotag and Yoky Tag are two such Bluetooth tags among many others available in the market.
With a range of up to 70 metres, this is a small water-resistant tag weighing 122 gm. It can be attached to keys, wallets, bags and such. It can also be attached to kids' clothing when outdoors to be able to track them while letting them roam freely. It works with an app over Bluetooth and raises an alarm on the smartphone when the object moves away from a safe distance. The company claims that the tag, which costs Rs 1,499, can be used as a night watchman when attached on doors and windows as the motion detection alerts in case of any movement.
This one, too, beeps loudly when out of range. You can locate your phone by shaking the tag thrice. You can customise the tag with your own photos or designs. Yoky Tags are manufactured in India and have a maximum range of 150 ft. It is available in stores for Rs 999.
Arriving at a destination and realising your luggage hasn't made it can ruin your trip. Now with GPS-enabled trackers, you can keep a check on your luggage wherever you go. For this, you can use any of these trackers:
Trakdot Luggage Tracker
This one uses a GSM chip-equipped monitor to track and detect the exact location of your luggage when kept inside. When it is in the airplane cargo hold, it goes into airplane mode and its transmit-and-receiver capability is shut off. Once your luggage is back on the ground, Trakdot notifies you of the location using the local cellular network. It is available on Amazon India for Rs 6,014 (actual price $69.79), but one has to go for an annual subscription.
Victorinox Luggage Tracker
The luggage tracker from Victorinox is powered by two AA batteries and is priced at Rs 6,900. One has to create an account on checksmart.victorinox.com to activate the device. When placed inside the luggage, it can send out an SMS or email alert as soon as it reaches the airport. It works on GSM connectivity and works across the world, except South Korea and Japan. One has to go for an annual subscription, which is free for the first year and costs $19.95 from the second year.
You can now let your pets roam around off the leash and still know their whereabouts. Below are a few GPS trackers that you can choose from to track your pets:
Designed for dogs, this attaches to any collar size and allows you to locate your pet at any time. It can monitor their activities and record their adventures on your smartphone, tablet or computer. The company has added Wi-Fi to the new generation Pod 2, which helps in locating them indoors, too. It can be used to create a safe zone as well - an alert is sent when the virtual fence is breached. This waterproof IPX7-certified device needs to be charged every five days. This isn't a standalone device; it comes with an annual subscription of $50. The Pod 2 GPS + WiFi Pet Tracker costs $149 and can be shipped worldwide.
Tractive GPS Pet Tracker
This real-time location tracker will keep you updated with the location of your pets; the location can be checked within the browser or on the iPhone, Android or Windows phone. This one, too, comes with a safe zone feature. It shows the pet's last location, path of past 24 hours, and allows live tracking. This also has an integrated light that makes locating pets in the dark much easier. Tractive offers two monthly plans - the basic one costing Rs 281 per month and the premium one costing Rs 312 per month. The device in itself is priced at $179 and is retailing for Rs 13,000 on Amazon.
These small gadgets with GPS tracking and cellular signals can help in tracking the accurate location of your kids. Choose from the following:
This CCTV manufacturing company has come up with a compact tracking device - a key ring and a small portable device. Equipped with a SIM card, the device works with a special compatible app using which one can track location and location history for up to two to three days. Parents can decide when they want a notification and of what type - SMS, call, or app alert. Multiple recipients can be added for the notifications. The device has three dial buttons that can be used to call three prefixed numbers at the click of a button. Even this requires a monthly subscription plan.
This matchbox-sized device, costing Rs 4,990, can be easily added to a school bag or a pocket to track location accurately on its built-in map. SafeMate can send SMS and e-mail alerts, and give guided directions on the map. Pressing the large SOS button on the SafeMate device sends an emergency alert message to the designated people, and this information gets updated every two minutes for two hours. Its battery can last up to three to four days on default setting, the company claims.
Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy
Unlike the earlier version of Bluetooth technology that required frequent charging, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is power efficient with low-energy functionality. It is being actively used for new gadgets such as wearables and tags. In simple terms, Bluetooth 4.0 continues to connect to a smartphone (or any device) without draining the battery too much. But to pair devices with Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, it is imperative that the device supports this technology. Apple introduced this support in iOS 5 and Google added it to Android 4.3 and onwards. The next version, Bluetooth 5, has already been announced and will play an important role in the Internet of Things. Bluetooth 5 promises to provide four times the range and twice the speed, and is expected to be available by late 2016 or early 2017.