Powered by our patent pending technologies, iFind is the world's first Bluetooth item locator that requires no battery.
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For people new to the comments section here, this is for you.
When I originally pledged, I thought the users commenting were just bullying the creator for more information. After spending a few weeks reading the posts everyday, it's pretty clear that every negative commenter has been 100% justified in their criticism of this project.
1) The reports the team has posted are using numbers that aren't really possible. (that's the talk about the wifi routers, etc. they do not output 300/500mW like the report states)
2) There's no mention of the shake-to-find-your-phone feature they advertize.
3) No videos of a working prototype. That little clip in the video they show isn't real. You can see on the top of the iPhone screen that the Bluetooth system is off, which you would definitely need to have on to pair a Bluetooth device.
4) The dimensions they give are too small to house the surface area an antenna would need to pick up all the EM's they claim. Also, they report that the device uses/needs other EM sources but never say what those other sources will be.
5) At the very, very least the iFind will have to be "recharged" by placing it next to a strong wifi signal once a week or month. In retrospect, this would be fine. Yet WeTag has not brought this up when asked.
6) The transparency is completely non-existent.
7) As Mr Bungle pointed out, Apple will not allow apps to "rope" at 5 second intervals. It must be less than 2, which makes the 2nd report even more suspect.
8) All "testing" has been done themselves. No one outside the company has seen anything.
9) Their company address is some guys house. Who knows if the house belongs to any of them.
10) WeTag only posts to attack commenters and constantly accuses them of working for a competitor. They do this to move the important questions down thread where people won’t see them.
11) WeTag claims to update the FAQ’s “every single day” yet hasn’t touched them since June 10th. Before that, June 1st.
I'm actually in for $14. I'd up it to a 5 pack if they proved to have a workable concept. I'd accept it being 2x or 4x as thick. I'd accept it needing a battery and charging once a month. I'd accept a lot of wiggle room on this project. But the "creators" deserve no such assurances based on their hokey science and lack of respect for genuine concern.
@Jim I'm aware of this, and the size of the antenna also changes based on the frequency (wavelengths), you can read a higher frequency further, hence why i can read an NFC tag further than the 125khz RFID with the same size antenna. The charging isn't the only thing, which oddly seems to be the focal point. The amount of time the tag can hold said charge, to me is equally, if not more important, because that determines how often you'd have to 'be next to the power source'.
"Look at RFID. Those tags are passive, and their antennas are usually the side of a quarter (or so), they power the tag (and that's at 125Khz, or 13.56Mhz). Technically that is a form of energy harvesting, is it not?"
Yes, it is. But, it is only works from a couple of inches away (or less) from the power source. In order for it to work further away, you need to have special equipment to focus the power in that direction and listen for a response to from the RFID. (That's why people were saying that in order to charge the tag, they'd probably need to put it right next to a router or other power source.)
I can't speak for the rest of you, but here at my house, there are 2 laptops running all the time on wifi, 2 smart phones on wifi/4G, 2 servers upstairs, and several other things around (zigbee, zwave), all dumping out RF. If i couldn't keep a tag charged around here, i'd be greatly surprised. Try walking around with a decent wire range frequency counter around your house with an antenna (assuming you don't have a house with a farady cage and aren't in the middle of nowhere) and see how much RF you really have floating around. @BJ I agree with you, to a point. There are still 11 days left before it's over. There's still time to _rationally_ sort things out, and by rationally, i don't mean sitting there saying "You're trying to steal my $$$$$ you scammer you!". I'm curious at the RF experience of some of the posters here vs just people googling and reading things like "dropkicker". Something to take into consideration is power vs distance vs frequency. _All_ are factors, and all are reliant on the other. The distance+power at 2.4Ghz vs the distance vs power at 915Mhz (plus any antennas) are going to vary how the tag is affected, as well as how efficiently it translates what it's own antenna picks up. Look at RFID. Those tags are passive, and their antennas are usually the side of a quarter (or so), they power the tag (and that's at 125Khz, or 13.56Mhz). Technically that is a form of energy harvesting, is it not?
So now that all this time has been spent on WiFi tests and the effective range was shown to be very small, you are claiming that other bands of signals will pick up the slack? Post a frequency response curve of the "wideband" antenna. State what the significant sources of this available RF energy are.
You say: "Unfortunately, it is ultimately impossible to give an average signal strength, as signal strength varies quickly from place to place, and it varies significantly over time, as well."
You do know what an average is, don't you?
Ultimately, the same situation is going to apply to these other frequency bands: if you are not very close to the transmitter then they will not work either.
Most people arguing in these comments aren't 'hating' on WeTag or the product. It's just that we fear a frequently used tag attached to an object not often in the vicinity of a strong EM emitter e.g. A pet or car GPS etc will lose it's charge eventually and will have to be brought close to one temporarily, every once in a while. Even this technical brief kind of seems to support that thought. It would still make iFind a great product but it's something they have to be upfront about or people might feel like they were lied to. I don't really mind that these tests were conducted by WeTag themselves, however it bothers me that unlike what was previously stated they only show results for different environments, not for different use cases. (i.e. the constant current draw.) Particularly I would like to have seen results in the 8 day test for tags in standby 'sleep mode': one in the Faraday cage, others in the outlying locations. This way we could at least see whether the charge provided by sources other than a nearby wifi router is enough to indefinitely keep a tag in sleep mode powered on. From the current numbers there only seems to be a 2% increase for the outlying tag compared to the one in the cage, not being charged at all. So with this new information in mind I would like this simple question answered: if I place a fully charged tag in your "outdoor location" can I come back a couple months later to make the ringer sound, or will its powerbank have been depleted? Thanks in advance! So far, I'm still backing your product, but still not upping my pledge to more units. :)
@Creator and @Stephanie Weddle
My main concern is that testing is not performed by an independent party as asked by me and others.
More than 20 days ago it would have been possible to look for one and had them sign a NDA.
If they had a working tag after 20 days, assuming there wasn't a battery in it, it would have been enough proof for me.
Especially if the testing party had had a glimpse of the innards (after the testing period) to check that there wasn't really a battery in it.
Unfortunetaly we have been served two technical reports based on data collected by yourselves in your own controlled environment.
Why didn't you perform a test like that? Your patent lawyer could have arranged something like that easily.
Wow. I thought it was really kind of the creators to disclose all this technical information to us (considering their lawyers are urging them not to give much away) and people are still angry and screaming about scams. What do you want them to do, release the entire technical specs so someone can go out and steal their product? How about some benefit of the doubt here? Because honestly all I see here is a few people trying to get their invention off the ground and getting inundated with hate for it. If this /does/ turn out to be some scam (which I doubt) or something of that nature I'll readily acknowledge my mistake and be more cautious in the future. For now, though, if you don't trust their ability to produce the product then pull your funding because I seriously think they'd rather you do that then continue to hate on them for no reason.
@WeTag - Still really looking forward to this! Keep up the good work and ignore the haters.
We would like to thank you again for all of your support, during the past month.
Since Day One, we have been facing a dilemma: how to answer your questions about iFind and resolve some confusions about the EM harvesting technology, while the patent-pending design of our circuits is fully protected to meet the patent application requirements. Our team has invested a lot of time and effort, as well as money, in this. We need the patent to protect our investment. Our patent lawyer advises strongly against any technical release of the product at the moment for obvious reasons. However, we know that we have to demonstrate the EM harvesting capacity of our iFind prototype. We must convince you the feasibility of powering a locating tag by EM residual energy. Therefore, we have been stretched to conduct a series of EM harvesting experiments and have published two technical reports. The reports include harvesting efficiency curves and the power bank residual measurements in both controlled and uncontrolled experiment environments that simulate a variety of real-world situations. They were conducted with functional prototypes of iFind.
We are fully aware of the questions and doubts raised by some of you regarding the technical reports, many of which are due to the misconception that iFind only harvests WiFi signals. Depending on environment, WiFi signals may or may not be the main energy source. There are very wide frequencies over which iFind's harvester can collect residual energy, of course, at different efficiency levels. Unfortunately, it is ultimately impossible to give an average signal strength, as signal strength varies quickly from place to place, and it varies significantly over time, as well. In addition, there is a power bank in the tag, which stores collected energy and powers the tag when the device is using more than what is being harvested. In other words, both instantly harvested energy and previously harvested energy will power the tag; it is not a simple input-output system that can be described by an equilibrium equation. In this case, the controlled and uncontrolled experiments with iFind in the Rope mode, one of the most power consuming modes of operation, are believed to be the best way to give you an idea of how well the tag works.
We have been collecting the questions from the comments, and we will have our R&D team available to answer them on a daily basis.
I asked for a real-life test by an independent party.
A test in the WeTag office performed by WeTag employees doesn't really qualify as such. Not to me, anyway.
About 20 (it were a couple more, I think) days ago something like that could have been organised.
As for the numbers, I am with Jacob Thoma. I thought that already with update 8 (was it 8?) and I have the same feeling with this update.
Anyone can write a nice report ...
I read somewhere this update was only published to backers. That makes me only doubt more.
No, I am not a US$1 backer on this one and I didn't join this party that late: Early Bird backer, waiting for a sign to pledge more.
Maybe I missed it, but I still didn't get that sign.
@Ollie -- Yes the Class A&B limits apply even to intentional radiators however that test is done with the transmitter powered off. The limits that apply to intentionally transmitted power are +30dBm into each antenna, plus the antennas can have up to +6dB gain.
CISPR 22 covers both "intentional and unintentional" emitters. The Class B limit lines determine whether the device can be sold for household use without special licensing or training. Meeting those lines can be a hair-pulling ordeal for manufacturers, often requiring a slew of last-minute 'band-aids.'
This is why wifi receivers are so amazingly sensitive; they can work with signals weaker than -100dBm (a ten-thousandth of a nanowatt!) -60dBm (one nanowatt) is considered very strong... usually shows as 5 bars for most wifi devices.
@Ollie Heaviside Some of the numbers in your comments are related to emission -- i.e. the radiated energy from those so called "unintentional radio-frequency devices"
For the curious, here's a handy tool that measures how much ambient power is available in your house: http://micro.arocholl.com/
In my living room, the ambient level is about -65dBm (half a nanowatt)
If I stand about 3m from my wireless router the RF Explorer shows about -47dBm (20 nanowatts.)
So I might have a bit of a problem running a tag that needs -10dBm (100,000 nanowatts.) ;>
Here's a handy dBm units converter: http://www.giangrandi.ch/electronics/anttool/decibel.html
500mW doesn't translate directly into radiated power; it depends upon the antenna efficiency and focusing. For instance, smaller antennas tend to be less efficient, and would convert far less of that 500mW into radiated power. The lost power is just wasted as heat in the antenna. Also, an antenna that focuses power in one direction can produce more radiated power in that direction, for a given drive power.
Most wifi routers use fairly similar omnidirectional antennas though, and depending upon how many bands they support, will use more or less total drive power to reach the max allowed FCC CISPR 22 limit lines, measured at 3m.
omg, no... wifi routers are certainly not exempt to CISPR22... but I’m sure that Cisco wished your statement were true!
Actually the wifi antenna power can be any amount, depending on antenna gain, directionality and bandwidth, but the radiated power measured at 3m can’t be above the CISPR22 limit lines. That's the fail/pass measurement. Otherwise, the remaining sensitive electronics in a household would be in a world of hurt! ;>
However, intentional radiators are allowed for Class A industrial/medical applications.
@Roger Sharp There are also FCC rules for the allowed power in various RF bands. It is 36dBm (or 4000mW) EIPR for 2.4G. So those router are ok for FCC, but not wi-fi certifiable
How does 500mW translate into RF energy in terms of dBm or uW/cm2? Anyone?
@Jian H :
Search internet for wifi router 500mW
you will find many, even found 1W.
Tell the sellers of the devices. Did Sam tell you to ask that? LOL
The EIPR of 100mW (or 20dBm) is the limit set by Wi-Fi consortium. So if the router is Wi-Fi certified, its transmitted power should be limited to 100mW no matter where the device is used.
LOL. Big works do not work on us. "Clouding the facts" nope.
And what is the relationship between my comments and your lack of facts? Is this part of your obfuscation strategy?
Really? 44 comments on Kickstarter, one long winded blast to someone else the rest us?
As are your facts, which are extremely rare.
Your opinions are always welcome.
No problem. Some people actually think that opinions are just as important as facts.
Thanks for the attempt. But they won't stop, will they? I can basically infer how much other tag business becomes in danger once this inexpensive EM harvesting technique becomes mature. LOL.
is 300mW really so unbelievable? I was curious what to realistically expect, and found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirPort_Extreme
which says airport extreme (5th-generation, the 2nd most recent, released 2011) outputs 250-400mW
It does, however, seem that more common/cheaper routers should expect to output around 50-100mW, which is what WeTag should of tested. 'C' should of been 100mW, 'D' could of been 50mW.
on closer reading, I have a question about the tech paper: the 3 ranges from router B seem to not drop. They stay around 100%, 97%, 93%, respectively. I do know batteries don't easily stay fully charged, so I assume the same is true for this power bank. Maybe it's easier to stay at 50% charged than at 100% sort of deal? I'm curious what day 30, 40, and 50 would have to say. would the devices at these distances remain around 100%, 97%, 93%? I know it's too long to wait; really wish this was already tested before the kickstarter started (how long a device on rope mode would last at several distances from a common source of charge).
I also want to know about higher distances: 5 meter, 10 meter.
I cannot prove my point. But aren't that the point of the tech update and what all the experiment data have suggested? Sorry that my education isn't sufficient for more specific discussions.
May I suggest the WeTag spokesperson at points in the day might be tired, hungry, sleeping, or needing to go to the restroom? His reply to attacks may not always be friendly. Just as yours would not be. If you don't like the project leave. If you have a legitimate question, ask. Do us all a favor and get off your soapbox.
There are two ways of publishing results. If the individual frequency bands contribution to the output of the converter where published it would be a lot of data.
Perhaps you could prove your point by telling us the typical levels of EM power available from wifi versus other sources, instead of guessing.
The point isn't really 100mW vs 300mW in EU vs USA. I'd be more worried if they use a 100mW router in their office. LOL. Anything within a factor of 5 or so isn't really a big deal. What really matters is the information that the tag also harvests energy in other frequency bands, which I am pretty sure is 915MHz. In urban life, my guess is that it will be the more dominant source that wifi. Your wifi might be silent but GSM won't be.
And your data in Table 2 proves that the other emitters are insignificant. Your lame attempts to discredit Ollie's comments are ridiculous.
To quote someone else from a previous comment
"You’re thinking of ‘passive’ devices and not considering the number of intentional emitters within a household which aren’t subject to CISPR-22. As noted, phones and WiFi routers are most prevalent.
Hi Guys, thanks for the info to date.
However, the WiFi power levels you use are way above those of common generic broadband/WiFi boxes or WiFi APs, at least in Europe - and I believe above the legal limits for UK/EU devices.
The specs are generally given as 5mW per MHz, so 100mW max for 11g / 20MHz or 200mW max for 11n / 40MHz.
Actual devices seem to run 50 - 70% of the limit power.
It would be very interesting to see the life in practical ranges of these consumer APs.
Also, the 915MHz range is very interesting - the UK has one of its GSM mobile phone bands in the 880 - 915MHz range for the phone TX. Not all carriers use this, but it's another possible energy source..
The FCC places well-published limits on radiated power from household devices. For any household device in the US, the limit line is -42dBm, measured at 3 meters. From the previous tech update, the iFind tag requires an absolute minimum of -10dBm to operate. -10dBm is more than a factor of *a thousand* higher than the maximum allowed ambient power in a household (each 10dB represents a factor of ten.)
It’s bizarre how no one seems to care about this little discrepancy. Folks seem to fixate on every red herring, and ignore the elephant in the room.
In-house test results or videos won’t resolve this looming power budget question. A few sentences explaining it might. Meaningful explanations seem to be rather sparse in this forum, however. Good luck with your pledges!
This unfortunately reminds me somewhat of bs'ing labs in chemistry class. Just writing information down in nice-looking tables doesn't mean that you actually have a working product.
Echoing what others have said- replying to legitimate questions with hostility and evasiveness is probably not wise. Whether it is due to stress or another means, it's uncalled for. The questions asked of the report regarding router types and difference between transmitter and router are absolutely valid questions and by replying with"check the internet and pick 2" is way out of line. People, for the most part, ask questions because they are unclear of something. In this case we read a technical report which is absolutely going to be scrutinized due to its nature. Hope everyone got a great night's sleep and are more open to answering questions today...
@ Bruce :
I love that last comment. It sums up all that is wrong with a democracy!
So I'm about to increase my pledge. I'm fairly satisfied and I come from an Electronics design background. WeTag have had to demonstrate far more than I've seen any of the Kickstarter electronic design projects I've been part of/supported. My TV emits EMF (including WIfi) my phone in my phone in my pocket, the two routers in my house, playstation, philips hue and heating system etc all emit bursts of usable energy the Tag could use. Bare in mind they cannot show everything about the project or we might find a similar design ending up on say indigogo!
Anyone suggesting putting it in a Microwave needs to stay out of the debate! Of course it won't survive.
I concur with Roger, James, and Colby. I suspect other reasonable big backers like them will also lower their levels...or just bolt...
Keep climbing up please. Really let us know and we obviously will support you IF YOU TELL US.
@Colby. I am 200% with Colby's clear reasonable comments and concerns. He said what I tried to say....ha we must be mind melding cuz post at same times. Anyway yes Wetag guys get climbing ...no more slimming ....get out of this hole....Colby wanted 40. I ordered the max 10 and jazzed my mom into getting the max. It will be so sad/mad if this is a dumb thing. The Truth is all we ask. Like Feynman says YOU CAN NOT FOOL MOTHER NATURE. Good luck guys....go have a meeting.
+1 Roger Sharp
I must say as I read the requests form Sam , Astrex,and others and somewhat delayed or unclear responses from wetag ......well I get worried .... I have pledged for two sets of 10 and seems like this may be not as wonderful as claimed???? Like what about the tag on the dog....will this work or not? Must the dog sleep on the router? Better not fudge with this stuff. I hope not. There are thousands of us right? Kickstarter pretty huge right ?
Thanks for being full disclosure so we can keep our pledges or cancel in time.
Agree with Roger: evasive answers are more worrisome than any data.
Make/Model of 'A' and 'B' should of been provided in the original paper, not repeatedly asked and not answered.
When I first found this project, it sounded awesome. Out of 10, it was clearly a 20. Now, it's looking more like a 9, which is still really good. Could of been happy with that. Nothing wrong with needing to be charged, lots of devices need that.
Unless a tag can stay operational at a 5 meter distance from a single household router indefinitely, you should not be saying it won't need additional charging in everyday life. And the presence of a power bank does NOT alleviate the requirement of charging. It might make charging be required less frequently, which is nice, but does not eliminate it, as your wording implies.
I really wish you guys were more upfront about the capabilities of this device. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell, it has several limitations which you originally described otherwise:
- effectively can't put it on a pet
- effectively can't put it on a tv remote
- will likely have to leave your keychain by your router overnight once a month
- effectively can't put it in a car
As it was first described, I wanted to buy one for everyone I know, then I was able to think of 3 uses for myself, then I increased that allotment to 10 for things I hadn't thought of. 40 was a underestimate starting place.
At this point I am feeling cheated. You've lost my confidence. I'm just hoping the video demo brings it back by being real. If it is, I may begrudging still buy a few; 1 for me, more if anyone I know wants one. I feel like you've lied your way into a hole you now have to climb out of to bring me back.
You should be honest with people. half-truths and double-talk only work in court; not with people, people get mad when they believe they are lied to.