Pixie Points by Pixie Technology -Review

Pixie Points by Pixie Technology -Review



27_BluePixieDust_InApp_CouchWithFriends-small

Pros…

Ability to accurately locate missing items, uses a new technology to improve accuracy

Cons…

Non-replaceable battery, no built-in GPS, so limited ability to track out of range items. Can be tricky to attach to very curved items.

Summary

Pixies Points are a great way to track things you frequently lose around the house- such as keys, wallet, remote controls and even cats that like to hide under the furniture !

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Do you constantly lose your keys? Your Wallet? The TV remote ? The cat? If you do, the good news is there are now many products on the market to help you track your lost items. The problem is, although many of them are good at telling you the geographical location of an item, they are not always as good at helping you pinpoint their exact location. It’s great to know your keys are at home, but even better to know they are under the couch cushion or inside your handbag or in a dresser drawer. Pixie Points from Pixie Technology use a “Location of Things” platform to pinpoint their location down to inches, and utilize augmented reality to show the location of the missing items.

Pixie Points look like slightly oversized guitar picks and are designed to be attached to your iPhone and items you want to be able to find. Pixie Points are constantly communicating with each other and signaling their respective distances. This creates a local mesh network so they can triangulate to give an accurate location. Because of this you need a minimum of 2 pixie Points in the area (and more is better), the one attached to your phone works as one point and the one you are searching for is the 2nd.

Set Up

To use them you first download the free iPhone app and follow the directions on the screen to pair the first Pixie Point to your phone. This one needs to stay with your phone.  You can keep it in place by using the Pixie Point iPhone case or by sticking it to your iPhone or current iPhone case. The phone case is currently free with purchase of a 2 pack or 4 pack of Pixie Points.

Next, individually pair each of your other Points to your phone. They are color coded so you can easily see which is which, and you can also and label them in-app by the name of object they will be attached to. It is very quick and easy to pair the Pixie points and the whole set up only takes a few minutes. The Pixie Points have adhesive backs and come with spare double-sided adhesive patches. A key fob is also included, so you can easily attach a Point to your keys.

In Use

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 4

Setting up the Pixie points and pairing them is pretty quick and painless. When you want to find your missing item you open the Pixie app.
All your Pixies points show in a list on the screen, and give an approximate location e.g. nearby, approximately 12 feet away, out of range. You then tap on the Pixie you want to find.

What happens next depends on how close the missing item is.

Within Range

If it is within range with a good signal, it will ask you to do a Panorama Scan. This is just like taking a panoramic picture with your phone but combines the picture you are taking with virtual reality, in a similar way to Pokemon Go. You follow the on screen arrow (and virtual assistant) to scan the room. Once the scan is complete, a trail of virtual Pixie dust, color co-ordinated to the chosen Pixie Point, appears on the screen showing you where to look for your item.

Once you start walking towards your item the screen switches to a colored pointer with a distance indicator. You follow this much as you would a compass bearing- walking in as close a direction to the arrow as you can. As you walk the distance indicated keeps updating to show how close your item is.

Once you are within 5 feet of the item the app changes mode again  to “metal detector mode”. This has a hot-cold indicator scale, with distance and an audible beeping, helping you to zero in on your item’s location.

Out Of Range or Poor Signal

iPhone Screenshot 5If the Pixie point is detected but has a weak signal it will ask you to walk until you get a better signal. Initially you will see a bar graph indicating signal strength. If this gets stronger as you walk keep going that way, if it gets weaker turn around and go a different direction. Once the signal starts to improve it will ask you to walk in an “L” to allow the Pixie Points to map out the location of the missing item (this works in the same way as the panorama scan in helping locate it.) It will then switch to pointer mode followed by metal detector mode as you get closer.

If it is out of range it will tell you the last time it was “seen” and where and when that was. If this happens it is still worth walking to see if it comes into range, especially in a home or building with a complex layout as having many walls in the way can interfere with the signal.

 

 

Practical Testing

As my family will no doubt attest, I’m pretty skilled at loosing things, especially my car keys. My son is also particularly adept at losing remote controls, so we make a pretty good family for testing Pixie.

The first day I had Pixie Points I paired the points, but I didn’t yet have my iPhone in the Pixie case I slipped it’s Pixie Point into a credit card slot of the wallet iPhone case I was using. I then lent my phone to my son without warning him the Pixie Point was in the pocket. Later that day I went to look for my keys and discovered my phone Pixie Point was missing. I couldn’t look for the keys as you need the phone Pixie Point for the app to work!

I thought that was the end of the test, but then I realized I could just allocate a different Pixie Point to the phone. I allocated a new Pixie Point to the phone and fixed it securely in place using the Pixie Point iPhone case. I could then track my other Pixiefied items, but was still missing one Pixie Point.

When I searched for the missing Pixie Point it was showing as out of range, and the last place it was seen was at home. It was out of range everywhere in the house, so I assumed it must have got lost somewhere when we were out for the day. The last seen location only shows you the GPS location of the last time you opened the app and successfully connected to the Pixie Point, so if you lost it at a different location where it had not been connected to the app this won’t show.

After a couple of days I decided to try scanning outside the house and as soon as I did so it was back in range and I successfully tracked in to the car. Inside the car the metal detector mode tracked it to the central console, but I could not find it at all. Eventually I discovered it hidden in the folds of a collapsible sunshade that was under the console. I can honestly say that without the Pixie and and metal detector mode I would never have found it- it was so well hidden that I had a really hard time seeing it even though I knew it was there!

Since then I have used it to track my keys successfully many, many times and to track down hidden remote controls too. One caveat with the remote control is you really need a relatively flat section on the remote to be able to attach the Pixie Point. My Samsung Smart TV remote has a very curved back and I can not get it to stay attached, even using the included “curved surface adapter”, it works fine with other flatter remotes such as our Apple TV remote.

Pixie Points are waterproof with IP67 certification and I have had one survive going through a wash cycle in my washing machine!!

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Uses

I think Pixies Points are a great way to track things you frequently lose around the house- such as keys, wallet, remote controls and even cats that like to hide under the furniture. I love how it automatically switches between modes to accurately pin point your item’s location. I have had several times where I have looked for an item with my naked eyes and was sure it wasn’t there, only to be proved wrong when I search for it with Pixie.

Pixie Points are great trackers, but they aren’t suitable for every use. I would not use them for a pet that tends to get out as they are no use in tracking a wandering pet if they are out of range. You also can’t use them to find your phone as you need the phone to be able to track Pixiefied items. Because most people take their phone everywhere they are still useful if you misplace another Pixiefied item away from home, as long as you realize you have lost it within the Pixie Point range. Inside this is typically 30′-50′ and outside up to 150′ in line of sight.

I do find the “last seen location” of limited usefulness as it only tracks the last time the Pixies Point connected with the app. If the phone and Pixiefied item were separated at a location where the app was not opened this wont be recorded.

Pixie Points do not have replaceable batteries, so you need to get a new Pixie Point when the battery runs out. Battery life is stated as typically 1 year, I would like to see a replaceable battery option in future.

Overall, a great option for tracking frequently lost items with pinpoint accuracy as long as they are within range- so best used for items in the home or ones that are often carried with the user’s cellphone such as keys and wallets.

Available from GetPixie.com $49.99 for 2 or $99.99 for 4, includes free iPhone case.

APP link

Pixie - Find lost things
Pixie - Find lost things
by Pixie Technology Inc.

Category: Lifestyle, Utilities
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 147.79 MB

$FREE

Screenshots
(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Custom iPad Case From DODOcase – Review

Custom iPad Case From DODOcase – Review

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

Custom Made iPad or iPhone case from Dodo Cases

 

Summary

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. Their custom iPad cases are a great way to keep book binding skills alive whilst creating a unique product- the cases look good, work well and can be customized to create a one of a kind case.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

I love my iPad Air 2, especially how slim and light it is compared to older iPad models. I think every tablet or smartphone deserves a case to protect it, but at the same time using a heavy or bulky case removes some of the features I love about the Air 2.  I recently had the opportunity to test out the custom iPad case service from DODOcase – which proved to be just what I was looking for in a case- slim, light and personalized to suit my tastes!

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. They make cases for  iPad 2,3 & 4; iPad Air & Air 2; iPad Mini 1, 2, 3 & 4; iPad Pro 9.7 and a variety of iPhones from the iPhone 5 on. You can choose from a variety of standard case designs, or use their custom case making service to design your own. I chose to create my own, I wanted a classic look on the outside with a fun interior.

The designing process is really quick and easy. First you select your iPad model, then you are taken through the design process step-by-step.

Exterior

You can choose a single or two-tone exterior.  There are 17 different solid colored fabrics, 13 patterned fabrics and 4 colors of leather to choose from. I chose to make the exterior like a classically bound book and picked the red leather with black fabric spine.

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 10.24.27 AM

 

Interior

There are even more fabric choices available for the interior – 18 solid colors, and 18 patterns plus 12 map prints. The map prints are from Stamen Design and are available in or watercolor or toner (black and white). There are 6 different cities to choose from: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris or Tokyo. I really liked the idea of using a map interior as I could chose a map that really had a personal meaning to me, though I was torn between the city of my birth or my current home. I eventually decided on the watercolor version of the London map.

Dodocase 2

Finishing Touches

The case is held shut when not in use by an elastic strap and you can choose from 14 different colors of elastic to co-ordinate with the interior or exterior of your case. For the ultimate personalization you can even have a name or message embossed on the front on gold or black letters.

DODOcase1

 

In Use

When case arrived I was surprised just how much it looks like a quality leather bound book, it even has a bookplate inside for you to write your name on. The case has a polycarbonate tray to hold the iPad, which is attached to the half of the back cover of the “book.” The back cover bends in the center acting as a stand, providing a stable support in landscape mode for movie watching  or playing games. Although obviously designed more for landscape viewing the iPad case is also stable in portrait mode.  If you want to use the iPad completely flat just open the cover like a book or a gentle slope for typing can be created by folding the book cover on top of itself with the liner out.

I really like this case for everyday use, it looks professional on the outside, but makes me smile whenever I open it and see the map inside reminding me of home. The case protects my iPad Air 2 when it is in my bag but is slim and light enough that it complements the Air’s design. The case is cleverly designed to work as it’s own built-in stand and which is stable and secure.

I love that DODOcase is keeping traditional book binding skills alive whilst creating products for the 21st century and with all the options available you can create a truly personalized case for yourself or as a truly one-of-a-kind gift.

DODOcase is a San Francisco-based company that uses traditional book binding techniques to create iPad and iPhone cases. Their custom iPad cases are a great way to keep book binding skills alive whilst creating a unique product- the cases look good, work well and can be customized to create a one of a kind case.

Ordering

Available from DODOcases.com custom iPad cases from $79.95, with additional fees for leather, 2-tone binding and embossing.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
 Review & Giveaway:  Puzzlets Starter Pack with Cork the Volcano Programming Game

Review & Giveaway: Puzzlets Starter Pack with Cork the Volcano Programming Game



box-hero

What we love…

Combines physical toy and fun interactive video game that teaches coding as they play

What we’d love to see…

Even more games (2 are scheduled to be released in 2017)

Summary

Puzzlets is a great, educational, #STEM /#STEAM toy that combines technology and hands on play to inspire creative problem solving skills.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Puzzlets from Digital Dream Labs is a hands-on physical toy that allows children from Kindergarten age upwards to learn coding principles whilst playing. The starter pack includes  a Bluetooth enabled play tray and 22 programming Puzzlets plus a Cork the Volcano video game which can be played on an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Android smartphone/ tablet.  Two more games – Abacus Finch (Math) and Swatch Out (Color Theory) are due to be launched via Kickstarter in January 2017.

The target age range of Puzzlets is 6-10 so I had my nine year-old son act as my tester – he really enjoyed playing with it, and his thirteen-year-old brother was fascinated by it too and kept wanting to “help!” We tested it using an iPad Air 2.

Set Up

Puzzlets is compatible with iOS, Android and Mac OS X. To play you first need to download the free Cork the Volcano app from Google Play or iTunes or the Mac App Store.

Next you charge the Puzzlets Play Tray using the included USB cable and when it is charged connect to your device. When playing on the Mac you connect the Play Tray via the USB cable, for an Android tablet or iPad you connect via Bluetooth.

kids

In Use

Once you have set up the Puzzlets the first time it is really simple for kids to start playing without any adult help. The Play Tray automatically switches off when not in use. When they want to start playing again as soon as they open the app the Puzzlets Play Tray automatically wakes up and connects to the device without the player having to do anything. They can choose to continue a saved game or start a new one.

There are 22 Puzzlet tiles which the players place in the play tray to control the characters on screen and thus use them to solve a variety of challenges. These tiles each represent a snippet of code.

There are 3 types of tile:

Commands: These are main moves:

  • Move Left (3)
  • Move Right (3)
  • Jump (4)
  • Stop(2)

Modifiers: These  enhance the command tiles

  • (+) Intensify (3)
  • (-) Lessen (3)
  • (x2) Double (1)
  • (x3) Triple (1)

Characters: These let them switch between 3 characters with different powers

  • Rus the Gator (1)- walks over gaps
  • Hippo the Hedgehog (1)- fits through gaps
  • Sydney (1)- jumps high

As the kids work their way through the levels the different tiles are introduced and they are taught how to use them.  They can then solve the levels using any combination of code tiles. The commands are read in the order they are placed in the tray- like reading a book from left to right, top to bottom.

Puzzlets is designed to be used alone or in co-operation with another child or adult. In solving a level the first step is to work out what commands to use and in what order. Once the player is happy with the commands, they press the play icon on the bottom right of the screen. The character then performs the first command and continues following it until they tap the screen again to change to the next command they have programmed.

Solving a level involves not only problem solving in creating the correct combination of commands, but also timing and hand eye co-ordination in deciding when to switch to the next programmed command. I love how it combines both an on screen game and a physical manipulative toy and that the players need to use both together to solve the puzzles. There is no one “right way” to solve each level, the child can use their own problem solving skills to find a method that works for them. To beat a level they need to overcome obstacles to collect a puzzle piece, there is also an additional challenge of trying to collect as many water droplets as they can whilst completing the levels.

corkthevolcano7

My kids love Puzzlets as they are playing a fun video game with lots of levels to beat, I love Puzzlets because without realizing it they are also learning  basic coding skills as they play. Puzzlets are a very clever combination of an on screen video game and a physical toy that between them let the child control what the on screen characters are doing and solve challenges. This is a great, educational, #STEM /#STEAM toy that combines technology and hands on play to inspire creative problem solving skills. The target age range for Puzzlets is 6-10 years, though younger children may enjoy playing with adult help and I also found that older children (such as my 13 year-old) also enjoy it. There is a lot of replay value because it has many, many levels and you can solve each level in a variety of ways. Collecting all the water drops does add a significant extra challenge (and I haven’t yet worked out how to do this on every level!!) Two more games – Abacus Finch (Math) and Swatch Out (Color Theory) are due to be launched via Kickstarter in January. 2017.

Available from Amazon, Digital Dream Labs and other retailers  for US$99.

iTunes link: Cork The Volcano – Puzzlets – Digital Dream Labs LLC


Cork The Volcano - Puzzlets Cork The Volcano - Puzzlets by Digital Dream Labs LLC

Price: $FREE

Purchase of the Puzzlets Starter Pack required -- Contains 22 Programming Puzzlets, Play Tray, and micro USB charging cable.

Think outside the screen with a puzzling new way to play. Put Puzzlets.

 

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Puzzlets Starter Pack with Cork the Volcano (RRP $99.99), please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to USA Only and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

 

 

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Review of Circuit Scribe Electronics Kits and Giveaway for a Maker Kit – #STEM

Review of Circuit Scribe Electronics Kits and Giveaway for a Maker Kit – #STEM

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25.  Ryan Martin (left) of Boston and Jonas Gillespie (8) of Ithaca, NY happily observe the successful completion of an electronic circuit to power a moter. Martin is one of the members of an Electroninks outreach team that provided instruction and encouragement to children exploring circuit design using "Circuit Scribe" conductive ink and electronic components at Boston's Museum of Science.  Lori K. Sanders/Cambridge, MA.

Circuit Scribe Kits provide a great introduction to electronics. They teach kids about the basics of electronics whilst having them build a series of projects, which makes learning fun! There is no need to learn to solder when creating the projects- you simply use the included conductive silver ink pen to draw the wires and make connections. I recently got the opportunity to test out the CircuitScribe Ultimate Kit and found that it was a great addition to our Homeschool curriculum.

Review

The Circuit Scribe kits consist of a variety of electronic components as a series of magnetic modules, a workbook, a steel sheet, a circuit stencil and a conductive silver ink pen.  The Ultimate Kit contains over 30 components, plus instructions for lots of projects.

 

The Modules are color coded:

Input e.g. switch =red

Output e.g. LED =yellow

Connection e.g. transistor =grey

Power e.g. battery =blue

circuit-scribe_basic-kit_lr

Workbook

The Workbook contains lots of projects and they are color-coded so that you know at a glance which projects are compatible with the Basic or Maker or Ultimate kits. All projects can be completed using the Ultimate kit, most can be done with the Maker kit but the Basic kit can do less.

The steel sheet is used to place between pages of the workbook and acts as a magnetic backdrop for the projects. It also acts as a glossary of symbols and abbreviations used for describing electronic circuits and components.

For each project the student learns the theory behind the project, sees a circuit diagram for the project, then draws in the indicated wires using the silver ink pen.  They are encouraged to use some artistic flare rather than just tracing along the lines. Once they have drawn the required wires they can place the  modules in the indicated spots and they will magnetically stick to the steel sheet through the paper connecting to the silver ink wires as they do so. It takes a little practice to draw the wires so that they will conduct electricity well- you need to make the lines nice and thick without any breaks, but even if you don’t get them perfect the first time you can just add more ink to reinforce any areas of weakness.

As they work through the projects students learn the characteristics of different types of electrical components, how to create and read circuit diagrams.  As the students learn about the components they are encouraged to be creative and design their own circuits. The Ultimate kit is even contains connectors that allow you to use it with Arduino and Raspberry Pi (not included), and has a sample Arduino project.

Summary

Not only do Circuit Scribe kits provide projects to do, but they also teach the basics of electronics. Students learn about electrical components such as resistors, potentiometers and switches, plus they learn to draw circuit diagrams as well as build projects. This is a great kit for homeschooling families as it has students learning about physics, electricity and electronics in a hands on way. It is also a fun introduction to electronics for ages 10- adult – I know I learned from using it! Highly recommended #STEM gift.

recommended-by-the-imums

Maker Kit Giveaway

copy-of-maker-kit-1-600x600

Thanks to Circuit Scribe One lucky reader of The iMums can win a Circuit Scribe kit of their own- we have a Maker Kit to give away (RRP $79.99)

The Maker Kit contains 17 electronic components and instructions for a variety of projects.

Maker Kit Contains:

11 Modules:

  • 9V Battery adapter with 9V battery
  • x2 Bi-LED
  • SPST Switch
  • NPN Transistor
  • 2-Pin Adapter with 5x resistors (100, 1k, 10k, 100k and 1M ohm), 2x capacitors (0.1uF, 1.0uF), and one photoresistor (10k ohms)
  • Potentiometer – 10k ohms
  • Blinker
  • Buzzer
  • RGB LED
  • Light Sensor

Additional Items:

  • Conductive Ink Pen
  • Circuit Stencil
  • Jumper Sticker Sheet
  • Workbook
  • Steel sheet

Available from CircuitScribe.comAmazon and other retailers for US$79.99,

 

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Maker kit from Circuit Scribe ($79.99 value), please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to USA ONLY and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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