We’ve seen wireless tags for locating items, or your smartphone, before, like Nokia’s Treasure Tag or HTC’s Fetch Tag. iFind, however, is a class above the rest, because without a battery, this thing, like that iconic Energizer rabbit, will just keep on going and going and going and going.
You might wonder how this tag will run without batteries. After all, it still has electronics inside it. According to makers WeTag, they are employing a patent pending process they call Electromagnetic (EM) harvesting, which gathers the kind of energy that is regularly emitted by things like Wi-Fi trasmitters, cellphone antennae, and more. The energy is then stored in specialized power banks to juice up the tag. And by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the tag consumes even less energy than regular Bluetooth devices.
This innovation affords iFind a few interesting advantages over other tags of its kind. First is that it is promised to last a lifetime, at least in terms of operational duration. It doesn’t have batteries to recharge or die on you, so that you get to use the tag 24/7 without fear of a drained tag just when you need it the most. It also keeps the tag small and thin. It can easily be slipped into a wallet without adding any bulk. In all other aspects, the tag works just as any device of its class. You can pair as many iFind tags as you want with a smartphone running Android, or iOS, as long as the device and OS version supports Bluetooth 4.0. Each tag has its own unique ID which you can pass to friends to help you look for a tag, and whatever’s attached to it, using the smartphone app. Looking for a tag is like a game or Marco Polo, but the app does try to estimate directions and distance to help you. Inversely, if it’s the smartphone that you’ve misplaced, just shake the tag vigorously to trigger the app’s alarm.
For now, iFind is only a Kickstarter project, but it seems to be quite popular, managing to raise $443,000 when it was only asking for $25,000. That allowed it to hit many of its stretch goal features, including one that will let users set a configurable distance before the tag triggers the alarm. If it manages to reach the $500,000 goal before the campaign ends in 14 days, WeTag will be adding a “Last Seen GPS Location” feature that will help narrow down the location of the tag, though the tag itself will not have any GPS hardware. All in all, not that bad for an immortal, wafer-thin tag that costs $18 on Kickstarter, $30 if you want it to come in pairs.