Cell Phone Accessories Connected Objects

Qblinks is a glowing button to control your phone

qblinksEven though most people are often mere inches or even millimeters away from their phones at all times, it would be nice to be able to control said phones without having to fish them out all the time. Qblinks is a little remote that can alert owners to notifications or be used to find phones, play files, or control the camera. The simple one-button interface is friendly and easy to learn, making it a snap to get used to quickly. Ultimately, the problem with devices like Qblinks is this: If the phone is close enough to use, why bother adding an extra device just to control it? For those less skeptical, Qblinks is available for $29 to ship out in October.

Connected Objects

Lupo resolves absent-minded moments with tracking app

The Premise. It never fails. You’re in a hurry: your car keys mysteriously disappear. Or it could be that you’re out shopping, your purse is in the cart, you turn your back for a moment and then can’t find your purse. These and other activities can be monitored by an app that not only acts as your personal lost and found, but is capable of some other interesting activities.

The Product. Lupo aims to be your best electronic buddy and ultimate administrative pal all rolled into one. The app’s ability to track your stuff through interconnected technology may very well mean that mom no longer needs to tell little Johnny where he had his shoes last, where Dad laid down his wallet, or where Susie left her phone. Those who are tech-savvy can even use Lupo to control some soothing music from their favorite mobile device while putting together that high-power presentation for work. And if it just so happens that the cat ran off with the mouse, no worries. Lupo even has the potential to function like a wireless mouse.

The Pitch. The video for the £20,000 campaign actually does a great job of succinctly explaining what Lupo does and how it works. It seems worth noting that Lupo technology works via “state of the art algorithm,” which should mean that battery life is extended, Lupo’s range and other settings can be varied, and that new, unique apps are possible with API support.

The Perks. There are seven tiers from which backers may choose. For £24 (or about $39 USD), a backer gets one Lupo in their choice of white, black or blue. The mini tracking device is expected to retail for £40, and the estimated delivery is August 2014.

The Potential. Lupo will likely have a wide demographic from teens to young adults to parents and possibly young-at-heart grandparents. While Lupo’s software component is available in the app store, it’s not yet available for Android, but that’s temporary. Lupo competing against a host of Bluetooth finding campaigns, including XYChipolo and  Hone as well as products such as the Kensington Proximo, and Wallet TrackR. However, unlike many of those, the product’s remote activation capabilities and platform capabilities could help set it apart.

Connected Objects

Bringrr sets off social search parties to find your lost items

The Premise. News flash: People lose things. Whether it’s a wallet, cellphone, bag or pet, we’ve all misplaced something or left it behind by accident. Tracking devices have always been subject to high prices and the world of spy movies, leaving the average “loser” stuck relying on memory to find the wayward object.

The Product. Bringrr hopes to prevent people from losing anymore items. The original concept is a normal car USB charger—with a twist. On top of being able to charge any USB device, Bringrr will notify the driver if their phone is in the car or not. For every other item, there’s BringTags. The small circular pieces have a small and simplistic design that makes them easy to pair with any commonly lost item. With a very initiative and sleek design interface, Bringrr’s iPhone app can also help to locate lost items by providing information about distance and direction.

The Pitch. The Bringrr video very simply demonstrates the practical uses of the USB port and BringTags. By showing many different real life scenarios where the Bringrr helped people avoid losing their items, it becomes pretty clear how much it can benefit everyday life. There’s also a cute storyline to follow of a girl who uses the Bringrr community to reunite her with her lost cat, which leaves a nice hint of “happily ever after.”

The Perks. For the person who loses just about everything, $89 will land a Bringrr and four BringTags with the color of their choosing. For $49, you’ll be able to keep track of your phone and one other item with a BringTag, and for $39, a Bringrr USB charger will always remind you if you drive away without your phone. The price of the items you’re scared of losing in sentiment or monetary value probably far outweighs the dent in your pocket these pledges will make.

The Potential. This is a very cool idea, that’s useful for just about anyone, right? Well, Unfortunately for the Bringrr folks, at least half a dozen other companies have also thought so, creating products such as the Zomm, Kensington Proximo and  Stick-n-Find. O Nearly 50,000 people have already pledged to receive The Tile. Essentially, BringTags and Tiles have the same features except one is circular, and the other is a rounded square.

A key to these tracking devices’ success is the involvement of the community when items are lost. Therefore, the larger the community, the more likely you are to find that item. Tile has a bit of a head start building a community, but Bringrr has a snazzy USB charger for your car that could help prevent having to head back if you left your phone at home. At nearly identical prices, it’s going to be a battle, with many other players vying to find your misplaced objects.