There have been so many times when I have lost my keys in a hostel, hotel room or villa. It is always a huge hassle to get it back and sometimes it isn’t even possible to get the item back at all. When you are traveling losing something can really dampen your experience, however I was lucky enough to come across the Chipolo recently ($24.99) and it was great to test it out for the first time and prevent these unwanted situations from happening. Here is a bit more an in-depth review about it and my experience with it.
What is it
This coin sized Bluetooth gadget helps you to avoid losing or misplacing or losing items by pinpointing the location of them via a smartphone. It can be placed on more or less anything that will allow a keyring to be attached and is a mere 5mm thin.
What was in the box
The device came in a relatively small package that was about 14cm by 8cm, and includes a Chipolo tag (which looks like a keyring), instructions and a spare battery.
How to use it
I had to download the smartphone app for the device, which was quite simple. I had to make an account and verify my email address, after this was complete I could start using the device. All you need to do is touch a button on the app and the tag will beep. To find your smartphone you simply shake the Chipolo device and it will create a noise, which will allow you to find the smartphone, even if it is on silent.
What I liked about the device
I liked how easy the device was to use and that it was very useful because you could use it the other way around and find your smartphone. I tested this a little in a few hotel rooms and tried to “hide” my phone and it was always very effective at finding it. The huge 60m range is extremely useful, if you do happen to lose something outside of this zone, you can pull up a map of the last known location of the item.
There nine colours available was also good because you can use them for different objects and the brighter colours make it much easier for you to find things. I chose the green one for Ireland though 😛
It is also great that you can replace the battery, unlike some devices which have a one use battery and then the device becomes obsolete. This is the sign of a device that really wants to last a long time and really be useful, rather than a disposable device.
How you can use it
It occurred to me that when I was using the device that instead of writing a checklist of things to do before I left my accommodation or even home, I could simply press the button on the app and check that everything was there in my bag. Not only is it good when you lose something, but can be very useful to help you when packing for a trip. You can simply locate everything that you need and is perfect for someone that is traveling. For me, I’m awful with losing my wallet, so I keep it in my wallet, then play the sound so I can find it down the back of the couch, or under my pillow or wherever, so good!
Other things to note
One interesting feature is that you can actually use the Chipolo as a controller to take pictures from your smartphone. This is ideal for all those selfies that you love to take and also is great when you want to take a picture from afar and means you don’t have to rush into position with the normal self-timer settings on your smartphone camera.
Overall a very nice device for the busy person or traveler, who has a lot to think about and can’t afford to lose anything. The device is great because you can simply forget it’s there and use it when you need to. This is something I really appreciate about technology, especially when it is easy to use and non-intrusive. I would highly recommend the device for the active person or busy traveler.
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