Many people have become increasingly reliant on their smartphones, cameras and other electronic devices. One resulting problem is the difficulty in keeping track of all the various lenses, chargers and other accessories that are used in conjunction with devices.
GearEye is an RFID-based tagging and gear management system for ensuring that all gear is in one’s bag or close at hand and, if it’s not, that it can be easily found. It works in conjunction with an Android and iOS app, and uses a smartphone’s smart sensors and RFID GearTag labels to keep track of the user’s gear.
GearEye ships in July at $199 for a SKU that includes a choice of a case or dongle, along with five GearTags for metal items and 15 regular GearTags in a mixture of sizes, and $219 for a SKU that includes 10 GearTags for metal items and 30 regular GearTags in mixed sizes. But Kickstarter backers can order them now for pledges of $129 and $139, respectively. Its makers are out to raise $60,000 by Dec. 30.
The dongle communicates via Bluetooth with the GearEye app to let users know if they have everything needed. If the GearEye dongle is inside a bag, users can find it within 10 meters of their phones. The phone case has the same functionality as the dongle, but has a slightly larger scanning range. It attaches to a phone’s bottom connector.
There are other gear tracking devices. But those other devices tend to rely on Bluetooth Low Energy tags that are bulky, can’t be attached to at least some of the tiny accessories that consumers have, and are often inaccurate, GearEye’s makers say, pointing out there is no way to verify that an item is inside a bag or 3 meters from it. Bluetooth tags also have batteries inside, which must either be replaced after a few months or thrown away with a tag.
On the other hand, GearTags don’t use batteries, don’t need to be charged, and can last for an unspecified number of years. Although the dongle and case have batteries that need recharging, they can easily last a full day, they say.
Drawbacks include, as is often the case, a lack of compatibility. The case, for instance, only fits iPhone 6 and later iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S6 and later models.
Jeff Berman is a Long Island-based freelance reporter, who has also contributed stories to publications including TheStreet and the consumer electronics magazines Dealerscope and TWICE. He previously worked as a senior editor and deputy managing editor of the trade newsletter Consumer Electronics Daily, published by Warren Communications News.