Connected Objects
Findster ditches cellular connection but lets you locate at long range

The Premise. Many people can remember the mind-numbing worry that comes along with losing track of a younger member of the family or a pet. Striking that balance between watching them while also giving them room to enjoy themselves has always been a tricky, but most would err on the side of caution. Although products now exist that help track people or pets, either their range or their costly monthly fees don’t make them very practical.

The Product. Findster is a proprietary tracking solution created so that users would never have to worry about losing a loved one while fretting about range or monthly fees while doing so. There are four parts to the system that make it what it is: a tracking module for both the guardian and the child or pet, a basestation, and a smartphone app tying it all together.

The product is simple: a parent or guardian uses the Findster smartphone app to mark a predetermined space. Once created, push notifications alert the guardian if a child or pet leaves that space, leading them in real-time so that both can reunite. The tracking modules have a range of one kilometer, but base stations can expand this range by two kilometers, with no limit on the number of repeaters. This allows guardians to stay connected with kids at school, or pets at home. Group monitoring adds more layers of security. In addition, other Findsters can act as anonymous relay points to aid in your search. Additional features, like fall detection for kids and a pet activity monitor, give you an extra pair of eyes where there are none.

The Pitch. The campaign’s professionally done style is clear, concise and super informative, doing a great job of explaining the many capabilities of this technology while being careful to avoid being heavy handed about it.

The Perks. If you want to get set up properly with Findster, $199 is the price of admission for either the kids or pets version. Either comes with a one base station, one guardian’s module, one Findster module, and a charging module. A package for $550 (retail $949) is available which includes four basestations and four Findster modules, while another for $649 includes one guardian’s module, 10 Findster modules and one charging module. Estimated delivery of all perks is slated for April 2015.

The Potential. One of the biggest issues with GPS-only devices is their inability to work well indoors, a problem Findster has addressed with its base station concept. This makes the potential range more or less unlimited, provided there are enough around to do the job — and that’s appealing considering there are no monthly fees. All in all, the range may prove to be an issue for some, but the Findster will shine in closed environments like local parks and campuses where an interested party can outfit them with the needed number of relay points.