I had a small incident yesterday when my son managed to hide my wife’s car keys, this led me to having to leave work and deliver my keys to her so she could get to work. A few of us on Ausdroid have kids, and this is a pretty annoying thing when it happens!
After doing this I decided to search for a technical solution to this problem and found a project called Keyfinder on a Kickstarter like site called Pozible, the project is being proposed by two guys from Adelaide, Reece Formosa and Chris Evans.
The project aims to create a Bluetooth enabled tag which attaches to your key chain and can be activated by a signal from your Smartphone. Not only that but they aimed to create something that has a little bit of style rather than just function, the Keyfinder will be offered in a range of colours pink, red, blue, orange, and white. Now, there is a downside, their initial development is for the iPhone, however I contacted Reece who assured me that once the project is funded they would be getting an Android app up and running as soon as possible. Further answers on the Pozible site has Reece advising that:
‘[Apps on other platforms] only take a few weeks to build so as long as this first project if a success we will have one done soon.’
The reason with going with iOS first is both a technical and a personal decision: the KeyFinder will utilise Bluetooth 4.0 which is standard on the iPhone 4s. All the team members working on the project own an iPhone 4s, and it’s also worth nothing that Bluetooth 4.0 has only started to become standard on Android Phones recently on phones such as the Galaxy S III and the HTC One Series -Motorola Razr has had it for a while but is an exception.
With Bluetooth 4.0 the range varies anywhere from 50m up to 100m in the open, which is very suited to the task of locating keys within a house and it also has excellent power consumption allowing the battery inside to last for up to 3 years, however the battery is replaceable as well.
The initial project has you activating your Keyfinder from your Smartphone which will cause the Keyfinder to alert with a flashing light as well as initiate an audible ring tone which will be customisable via the app. However, Reece and Chris are looking to continue their R&D and provide an update at some time in the future which would see the ability to reverse this and locate your Smartphone from your Keyfinder.
The project currently has 24 backers and is at $1,886 of their $50,000 goal which has a deadline of October 9th, leaving 52 days to reach their goal. Backers are only charged if the project reaches the required funding level. The options for this Pozible project start with a $10 pledge of support which will get you a certificate of apprecation acknowledging your support of Keyfinder from the start, it then goes on to actual pledges which will net you a completed product + the app for your phone bear in mind the RRP is intended to be $69.95 :
- 1 Key Finder : $55 + $5 Delivery in Australia or $15 Internationally
- 2 Key Finders : $109 + $7.50 Delivery in Australia or $15 Internationally
- 4 Key Finders : $216 + $15 Delivery in Australia or $25 Internationally
- 20 Key Finders : $1000 + $50 Delivery in Australia or $75 Internationally
- 50 Key Finders with your company Logo on it : $2500
- 100 Key Finders with your company Logo on it : $5000
or you can go for the final option :
- $10,000 for 50 Key Finders with your company Logo on it with personal delivery from Chris and Reece anywhere in Australia (internationally by private arrangement) and you will feature in a documentary being created on the creation of the Key Finder.
Bear in mind, though, that the project will only support iOS to start with – Android support will come later – and you will need a mobile phone which has Bluetooth 4.0 built-in. As with anything involving Kickstarter, Pozible or any of these project sites that require funding we don’t advocate backing any particular project – we only present what we’ve found. I have backed it in the hope that an Android app will come soon, but use your own discretion and see what you think.
Editor’s note: We are always careful in only recommending things to you that we think are good ideas, and have a reasonable prospect of success. However, if you choose to support this project, or any other that we recommend from time to time, and it doesn’t work out as planned, we will say we’ve warned you – you are responsible for your own actions, not us! That said, I’d love to see this idea come to fruition! -Chris