Through walls and under cushions, new Bluetooth chips help you find missing items
Pixie also reminds you if you forget to grab important things before leaving the house.
The 21st century is about gadgets, and the more gadgets we have, the more likely we are to misplace them. Enter Pixie, an Israel-based company that has developed a new tool that will make it a lot harder to lose your favorite things.
Put Pixie’s tiny Bluetooth-based beacons on anything you
tend to lose – from your keys to
your wallet to the collar of your snoozing Siamese. Any item that is “pixified” you can keep track of via a smartphone app to know where it all is, or even you’ve left something behind.
Pixie calls it “peace of find.”
The technology works in a range of 50 feet inside and 150 feet outside, so if something is stolen, you won’t be able to track down the thief, but you can geo-fence your valuables so that if something goes out of range, the app will notify you. There is also a “last seen” feature for items outside of the 150-foot range.
You can also organize your items into “kits” for different situations, so as soon as you're ready to head to the airport, all you have to do is flash your smartphone in your bag to make sure you’ve got your passport, wallet, computer and charger. Also, if you leave the house without an item on the list, Pixie will notify you.
Pixie is one of the only apps on the market that uses the camera on your smartphone to show you an augmented reality view and object-to-object communication, rather than the hot-cold approach of other competitors. Pixie can “see” through walls, inside drawers or under couch cushions to locate lost items. To find a missing item, the app marks the location of your remote control hiding under a stack of magazines with a large “X.”
Amir Bassan-Eskenazi, the CEO and co-founder of Pixie, says the chips are like having x-ray vision. Along with his co-founder Ofer Friedman, formerly of Texas Instruments, they are also working on partnering with technology companies to have Pixie chips pre-installed on some consumer devices.
Pixified objects don’t only communicate with the app, they communicate with each other to create a more accurate location map, which means that the more items you pixify, the more accurate the network becomes. Dozens of people working out of the firm's office in Israel spent two years developing the device, garnering eight patents along the way.
Jon Medved, CEO and founder of OurCrowd, one of Pixie’s early investors along with Spark Capital and Cedar Funds, described it succinctly, saying, “It just helps you find your stuff.”
Pixie is now in beta testing as the company finalizes the app, which will be available on both Android and Apple phones. Pixie Points are available for pre-order on the company’s website, and are expected to ship early next year.
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