XY Tag, a successful and still-running Kickstarter, looks like one of the best-designed location trackers to hit the market so far.
There are lots of other Bluetooth tracking tags out there, and plenty of remote sensor systems that include location data along with everything else they monitor. But XY sets itself apart by focusing on just one problem -- finding misplaced items -- and making the process as stylish and seamless as possible.
The water-resistant plastic tags are pleasantly geometric (reminiscent of their close cousins the Estimote beacons) and come in a variety of colors. They’re powered by replaceable coin batteries that should last at least six months, and the designers are trying to extend that. Signals are sent twice a second over Bluetooth Low Energy so you can find whatever each tag is attached to, and there’s a stretch goal in the Kickstarter campaign to add feedback like light, sound, or vibration.
Tags are located using the XY app, which can keep track of multiple tags at once. A visual interface displays pictures of each tagged item so you can easily find your wallet, keys, pets, remote controls, or whatever else you’re looking for. There’s even a “heat map” feature that can give a rough idea of which direction to search in based on signal strength. XY will provide SDKs and APIs for other developers, and soon the XY app will include support for tracking iBeacon and other third-party tags.
XY includes some welcome security features by rotating the broadcast ID of each tag -- to an unauthorized snoop, every signal a tag sends will appear to come from a different device. Each tag can be shared with multiple users, and you can even mark an item as “lost” to receive a secure, private notification when the tag comes into range of a user you don’t know.
At only $17 for a single tag, XY is also one of the least expensive location trackers available. The Kickstarter campaign continues through April 20, and tags should begin shipping in June.
See the video below to learn more.