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.
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.
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.
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
If 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.
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!!
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.
Pixie - Find lost thingsby 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
Screenshots(Click to enlarge)
Screenshots for iPad(Click to enlarge)
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