LOST AND FOUND helps find misplaced items without the infomercial pitch

Items like keys, remotes, and remote controllers all have a penchant for being easily misplaced. It certainly goes without saying that constantly having to search for such items can be extremely annoying. The problem is compounded when those who aren’t particularly tech savvy have to rely on smartphone and app-centric solutions for help.

The LOST AND FOUND universal paging devices makes it possible for anyone to locate misplaced items with easy, all without having to configure any apps. The LOST AND FOUND base station is mounted on a wall beside a washable board on which users can write their five most frequently lost items. This list corresponds with up to five battery-powered tags that can be attached to those items. To help find a misplaced item, the LOST AND FOUND is set to its respective number, a button a pressed, and the matching tag will beep loudly to draw attention to its location. The product has a range of 80ft, but can be taken out of its dock to find items outside the home as well.

A LOST AND FOUND base station and two tags can be purchased for $24, just in time for Christmas 2015. The LOST AND FOUND campaign is looking for $11,941 in funding by May 9.

LOST AND FOUND looks like the type of product that would be found in stores alongside Made for TV type products, but that’s exactly where its greatest strength lies. Its unconnected nature is arguably more appealing to a wider array of people than products like HIRO that can end up confusing folks rather than helping them.


Stiktag keyring employs NFC to unlock a path back home

The Premise. Few things are as necessary and as easy to permanently lose as keys. Not knowing where they were placed the night before is one thing, but what is someone supposed to do when those same keys could be anywhere in the city they live in?

The Product. Stiktag is a simple keyring that includes a unique URL, NFC, and QR identification that can point users to a means to contact the owner of said keys, get in touch with them, and arrange a hand-off. The keyring is durable and works after falling, being mildly damaged, and even after being submersed in water. By adding personal information to the site that finders are pointed to, owners can include photos to help them know whether or not they’re dealing with the right person and even include a monetary reward for returning the lost keys.

The Pitch. In an easy-to-understand video, Stiktag explains what the device is, how it works, and how the average user can use it to eliminate this universal problem. The company leads off with the telling data that at least 2 million people report lost keys to the police every year but fewer than 10% make their way back to the appropriate owner. Right away, it’s clear to see how Stiktag can solve this problem and the stress tests show that users don’t need to worry about the device breaking.  Stiktag needs $24,000 AUD to start manufacturing and place the first batch of orders, and at the $74,000 stretch goal, they will be able to ship faster and include more features for the site more quickly.

The Perks. Two Stiktags are available for the low price of $10 AUD, with an extra $5 for shipping outside Australia. Variants for backers are available at higher tiers, and at the $460 AUD level, a 10-pack is available that can be corporately branded for company property or brand advertising. Most rewards are expected to ship by May 2014.

The Potential. The Stiktag will certainly add a level of contact to finding lost keys that could help to recover them, but only through the assistance of others and only as long as the company remains viable. This is a pretty ingenious, low-tech solution to losing keys that might be improved with more tech and higher cost. Also, there is a significant worry that handling these transactions carelessly could help criminals find what keys they find belong to and help them commit crimes more easily, but it remains to be seen whether human decency and helpfulness is enough to change the stress of losing keys.

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.