This project's funding goal was not reached on September 27, 2013.
About this project
The smarter way to keep track of your gear!
Don't stress over losing your iPhone, Android smartphone, keys, wallet, luggage, backpack -- or any of the gear that you care about!
The GearTag is a low-energy wireless device that pairs with your Bluetooth LE equipped smartphone. Just attach it to your gear, and an alarm sounds if you're about to lose/forget it! Simple, clever and affordable.
The GearTag is powerful yet hassle-free; it's battery operated and requires no re-charging. Just set and forget.
How does it work?
The tag contains a small Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio and a Near Field Communications (NFC) tag. To communicate with the tag, a BLE equipped smartphone is required. (This includes the latest iPhones and iPads, and a growing number of Android devices.)
There are a variety of modes in which to use the tag. From your smartphone, you can 'page' the tag, or even have it page your phone! Put a tag on your keyring - if you forget your keys, your phone will start beeping. If you forget your phone, your keyring will start beeping. They're bff's!
The GearTag is truly versatile and there's lots of different modes to use it. If you do lose your gear, other GearTag users can help you get your stuff back! Please visit www.geartag.com for detailed mode descriptions.
We're building a bunch of cool functionality into the GearTag while making it deceptively simple to use. Take a closer look:
- BLE connection to smartphones with a max range of approximately 100 feet
- Loud buzzer and vibrator
- One button commands
- Battery life of over 1 year (normal operation)
- A variety of attachment options (ring, carabiner, strap, tape)
- NFC tag
- Track multiple tags from mobile app
- Paging functions
- Range indicators
- PIN security protection
- Desktop tracking
What could I use the GearTag for?
There's a bunch of different ways to use the tag, but the most common use would be to put one on your keyring, or in your wallet or purse. We're sure you'll think of many, many more!
Who Are We?
We're a small team with a wealth of experience with product design and software development. We're mainly mechanical and electrical engineers based in the San Francisco bay area.
We have day jobs and the GearTag is the first product we've developed together. It's been a labor of love and now we want to share it with the world!
Much of the development process is complete and we're pleased to report the prototype already does what we initially set out to do. Woohoo!
The next hurdle is getting the rough edges off the prototype design and ready for manufacture. Finding a good manufacturer that can produce the devices at an affordable price is not straightforward - but doable. We're already on the case.
We already have a functioning software app for the iPhone and have started work on an Android version. A companion website is also near completion, and will enable some additional functionality available from the desktop.
Our goal is to have the GearTag out in the wild before Santa arrives. If we receive sufficient funding, we plan the following:
1. Board design completion (Oct 2013)
The prototype circuit board has been designed and tested. There's a little work to be done to be ready for production, small tweaks.
2. Mechanicals completion (Oct 2013)
Packaging is important. We're trying to get the design as small and compact as possible while still retaining sufficient battery life and a good audible buzzer. We're well on the way and use our own 3D printer to evaluate housings.
3. Production start (Nov 2013)
We've located manufacturing partners that will be able to create the circuit boards and housings to our satisfaction. We had to go to offshore sources to reduce costs down to an acceptable level, but are also actively seeking local sources.
4. Mobile app development (Nov 2013)
The iOS mobile app is well under development. Android requires more work. We intentionally focused on iOS first as the iOS devices have the pre-requisite Bluetooth 4.
5. Website development (Nov 2013)
6. QA and delivery (Dec 2013)
We are confident that our design accomplishes our goals, and our manufacturing partners will produce products that meet or exceed our prescribed standards. Partners can scale rapidly, so we will be able to meet demands for what, we believe, will be a very popular product!
Risks and challenges
We're confident that, with your help, we'll get the GearTag over the finish line, and aim to have it in your hands before year's end.
We're well on the way to creating the GearTag but we do need your help. The design is pretty much complete, and we're moving quickly towards production. We're looking for help to fund the last steps of development and manufacture. If you'd like a GearTag, we'd really appreciate your help. Thanks!
The GearTag Team
**Please note that the technology that enables the device - Bluetooth Low Energy (a.k.a. Bluetooth 4, Bluetooth Smart) is not available on all smartphones at the moment. On the iPhone side, the 4s and 5 are covered (as are the latest iPads). Many new Android devices are being launched with BLE capabilities. If in doubt, please consult your device's technical description.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The tag uses a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio. This is also known as Bluetooth 4, or Bluetooth Smart. Recent iPhones and iPads use BLE (e.g. iPhone 4s, 5) and an increasing number of Android devices. Please consult your device's tech specs to verify.
It's not set in stone yet, but currently the tag it's 60x40x7mm. We may try to slim it down a little more, but battery life and buzzer sound levels fall off quickly. In the future, we intend to make a variety of form factors.
In common use testing in our own homes, we found a typical range of 50 to 100 feet. It depends on the smartphone, the battery level of the tag, walls, objects etc. The buzzer is quite loud and can be easily heard from another room.
No. The odd drop of water shouldn't hurt it, but we don't recommend you jump in a swimming pool with a tag! We are working on a ruggedized version, that will be a little larger to accommodate seals.
Other tags out there have made some serious sacrifices to decrease the size of the tag. As you make the tag smaller, battery life decreases considerably - one tag has a battery that is not user replaceable and must be returned to the manufacturer for replacement! Hardly cost-effective or convenient.
Making the tag too small also makes the buzzer feeble. The buzzer is probably the best way of locating your device.
We have also included an NFC (Near Field Communication) and QR Code. If someone finds your item but does not have the latest Bluetooth, they can 'tap' or 'scan' the tag to receive instructions on how to contact us and you.
- (30 days)