Connected Objects Pets

Where’s Nellie? This GPS locator mixes radios to pinpoint your pooch

It’s a common nightmare for dog owners: their beloved pet has run out of the house and they can’t find the pooch anywhere.

Where’s Nellie is a GPS tracking device designed to ease a dog owner’s mind if their pet runs off and can’t be found. The Nellie Beacon attaches securely to a dog’s collar and works in conjunction with an iOS and Android app. The beacon communicates up to six miles away with the included Nellie Base unit. If a dog is missing, the owner just has to press the locate button on the app and, in a few minutes, Where’s Nellie will pinpoint the location of the dog on the smartphone. It costs $179 and will ship in January. Its maker is hoping to raise $100,000 by May 16.

The device has promise despite coming along after several similar products, including Lucky Tag and WUF. However, Nellie seems to be superior to several rivals in a few ways. First, it makes use of several radio technologies. If the base unit is near the beacon, it uses Bluetooth LE technology. But if the dog is out of range, Semtech’s LoRa long-range wireless solution is used instead. If the pet owner wants to pinpoint exactly where the dog is, GPS is used.

Second, there are no monthly fees involved. Third, its batteries will last more than 365 days because the Beacon’s patent-pending technology uses low-power components and software, according to its Kickstarter campaign. That’s far more battery life than most rival products.


Stone Tether will help you find your stuff, even at your neighbor’s house

Technology has reached a point where networked items can find each other when lost. Locator tags are the bridge between older analog items and the digital age of today.

StoneTether is the next entry into the crowdfunded locator tag market. With a minimal, stylish design, waterproofing up to 30 feet, and the ability to be attached or clipped to any kind of item, StoneTether is meant to keep prized possessions from going missing, including kids or pets. When the registered phone goes out of range of a StoneTether tag, it pushes a notification to the phone and reports the location up to 500 feet. Additionally, if anyone else has a StoneTether tag and app combination and passes by a lost item beyond that radius, the item will daisy chain itself to the other tag and push a notification reporting the location, meaning more tags make items easier to find. StoneTether is raising $15,000 as they complete the software and start production. A StoneTether tag is just $20 and will be available in April 2015.

While this is not the first device like this, StoneTether offers a sense of simple style and strong functionality to create a worthy competitor in the field of locators.

Kids/Babies Wearables

TrackForce lets you chip loved ones so they never go missing again

trackforceMissing people are no joke, whether very young or very old, and the ability to find those who are lost is invaluable. A wearable tracking device that can be attached to clothingcan help address the problem. TrackForce is the idea in question, using multi-colored, water-resistant tracking “chips” to allow caretakers and parents to locate a missing person using GPS. A security layer will allow only those with the password to access the GPS data. While this project’s heart is in the right place, this has been done before, and it’s certainly been done better already. Backers can track down a TrackForce for $150 in December.

Sensors/IoT Smart Home

oort aims to turn your smartphone into the master of all devices

oortWith today’s pace of technological advancements, it’s reasonable to expect everything to connect with one another cleanly on a unified network. With a smart hub, beacon tags, and power strips, oort is aiming to be the link that binds all smart devices together. By functioning over Bluetooth Low Energy, oort can allow connected users to control the items in their home, locate pets or keys, and even get business recommendations as they move through the city. The sky’s the limit for oort, though in order to be successful, it will take a nation of adopters. Backers can get an oort hub with beacon in September for $199.