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The $19 TrackR is a like a leash between your wallet and your mobile phone. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled wafer of plastic that fits in your wallet or pocket. You pair it with your phone, and whenever the TrackR and your phone get separated both your phone and the TrackR start beeping.

The app also takes a GPS snapshot of where your wallet was at the moment of separation in case you didn’t hear the alert. Tap a button within the app to make your wallet “ring” in case your looking for it around the house or in the dark. The technology works both ways, which means your wallet can beep to alert you that you’re leaving your phone behind. Works with your iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, new iPad, iPad mini and the new iPod Touch.

Yesterday, I met with Scott Hawthorne (left) and Chris Herbert (right) of Phone Halo, the 5-person company that designed the TrackR. They demoed the TrackR and I was impressed with how well it works. At $19, it seems like a good deal. They said the battery life is 1.5 years.

Scott and Chris kindly left a sample unit with me, which I plan to start using. I’ll review it after I’ve had it for a week or two.

The TrackR will be available in the US and internationally as soon as the FCC and CE approve it (it uses low-power Bluetooth). You can pre-order one on Indiegogo for an estimated April delivery.

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is the editor-in-chief of Make magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.


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Comments

  1. barbecuesteve says:

    BAM! I was the guy who made the one that crossed the line! http://cl.ly/image/35143i3G3E3y

    1. Mark Frauenfelder says:

      Cool!

  2. Chris says:

    No Android support? That’s a missed opportunity and it’s embarrassing to see developers still supporting one or the other and not both.

    1. barbecuesteve says:

      1) An open API will sort that out soon enough
      2) When they hit their goal, they added a follow-on goal: If they hit $25k, they’ll ship an Android client too.

    2. Ed says:

      I might be mistaken but I think the limitation (which is why it only works with the 4s and above) is that android currently doesn’t implement the low power bluetooth that it uses, I assume whenever that makes its way into the OS they can go android.

      1. I was pretty disappointed when ICS didn’t support Bluetooth Low Energy. Even more so when Jelly Bean didn’t. We have sdk’s to support Samsung BLE phones and hitting 25k will help us bring on another dev to accelerate our Android development.

  3. kentkb says:

    So cool! Thanks Mark for the heads up. Bought one a few minutes ago.

  4. Curious to know, if I use this, I can never use my Bluetooth headphones at the same time right? As I understand it, you can only pair with one device. Thanks.

    1. Steve Sparks says:

      Nah, you’ve got it backwards. The TrackR can pair with one phone. A phone can pair with — and simultaneously communicate with — several devices.*

      * yes I know this is dependent on phone capability but it is not an inherent limitation.

      1. Treehouse Projects says:

        Unbelievable! I’m a developer and never knew this – scrapped so many ideas because I thought only one pairing was possible. Wow, truly embarrassing on my part! Time to start tracking those ideas down again …