Tuesday, January 1, 2013

FIND YOUR STUFF, Bluetooth To The Rescue

Bluetooth to the rescue!




If you own an iPhone or iPad you no doubt have installed the Find My iPhone App. For the uninitiated, this app allows you to track the location of your iPhone or iPad from any location using any computer or another iPhone or iPad as long as you have an iCloud account. All you need to know is the Apple ID and password of the missing device, have both units connected via wi-fi, and have the missing device turned on. That’s great for finding Apple products, but what about your keys, purse, attaché’ case, backpack or Android phone? Here’s a neat solution that really works….

Cobra Electronics Corporation has introduced the BT 225 and 225uni, Bluetooth Tag alarms. These devices use an App on your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone to assist you in locating lost items.

Here’s how it works. You download the free Cobra Tag App to your smartphone/iPad. Since the tag is a Bluetooth device, you mate it to your Bluetooth network on your phone or iPad. Once the connection is made your tag has been activated. Turn on the tag by holding in its activation button for several seconds until you see three blinks of the blue indicator light and hear a beep. Now the tag is engaged and capable of tracking whatever you attach it to. If the tag is separated by more than 30 feet, the typical range of Bluetooth technology, your smartphone or iPad will sound a siren alarm alerting you that you’ve forgotten something. In addition, it has the ability, while in Bluetooth range, of sending you an email alerting you that a specific device was left behind and gives you a link to Google maps with an indicator showing the exact location.

If you simply misplaced the tagged item you can open the Cobra Tag App and activate the siren alarm on the tag that’s attached to the missing item. If you’ve misplaced your smartphone or iPad you can press the button on the tag and the siren alarm will sound on either of those devices, perhaps a bit faster than using the Find My iPhone App and more effective since the iPhone App shows you a general GPS location, while the Tag’s ear-piercing alarm pinpoints you to the exact location.

(TIP: Bluetooth has an approximate range of 30 feet, so missing items need to be searched for within that range. When you separate your smartphone or iPad more than the working range of Bluetooth technology the loss of the Bluetooth signal causes the alarm signal to be activated on your smartphone or iPad indicating you’ve left something behind. )

Cobra has designed the Tag App to accommodate up to seven Tags. You assign each Tag a specific name and icon such as keys, purse, laptop, etc., and they are displayed and selectable on the App. The Tag itself will remain charged for about seven days so they say, however, my tests indicate about two to three days. It’s best to charge more frequently and avoid the Tag from loosing the Bluetooth connection. If the connection is lost you’ll need to go into the settings of your smartphone and follow the steps to reconnect. Now, the trick is to remember to charge it since if you forget to, the Tag will not operate. A mini/Std USB cable is included that plugs into a standard cube USB charging device, not provided.

The Cobra Tag is an excellent solution to finding misplaced items. It works well and has been a lifesaver for my wife many times. One use could equal the price of the Tag not to mention avoiding the aggravation and stress associated with loosing things.

MSRP: BT 225uni (iphone/iPad compatible) BT 225 (Android compatible) $79.99

Available at retail and on line.

For more information go to: http://www.cobra.com (Use cobra tag for item search)


Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.