Tuesday, March 13, 2012
How many times have you "misplaced" your car keys in the house? Truthfully, how often do you have your spouse "call my cell" so that you can embark on a listening adventure to find it? I may have found your new best friend.
I was searching across the internet, and ran into a blog article from http://technabob.com/ about a product called uGrokIt. It piqued my interest, so I checked it out at http://ugrokit.com/. A husband and wife team have evidently come up with a way for you to keep track of your items electronically. Their system uses RFID technology, and helps you keep track of really, just about anything.
Here is how it works. First, you stick a small tag on items that frequently tend to lose themselves (yeah, I think I'll lay the blame on the object itself), and then you add them to a list. If you need to find them later, just plug your smartphone into the device, and like a little digital bloodhound, it helps you locate the object. Pretty cool.
There are no batteries to change, the tags are powered by a tiny antenna and that reflects back the system's radio waves with a special, individual code. I understand that it works with a series of beeps, that get louder and faster as you get closer (I suppose that you could re-enact a scene or two from the Aliens movie, if you wanted to). The device range, it says, is somewhere between 6-10 feet.
Okay, now that I have you excited about the prospect, I'll have to tell you that you can't have one. That is, you can't have one yet. At the time of this article, they are not commercially available, but the rumor is that they will be, some time in 2013. The site allows you to be notified by email when they are ready for purchase.
I'm not sure if it works well on little geeks or animals, but hey, I could see tagging a particular cat at our house that can hide better than Waldo ever could.
RFID technology can seem to be a bit ominous (See an article about it from CNET) due to the potential misuses of it, but as a coworker rightly pointed out, almost every technology has the potential for misuse. Either way, with this technology getting cheaper and more easily available, we will probably see a lot more clever uses to come.
"Technology... is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other." ~C.P. Snow, New York Times, 15 March 1971