Crowdsourced. Talk about an internet buzz word, it now seems that just about anything you can imagine is being crowdsourced online. Well, not anything. If I lose my keys, my dog, my wallet or anything else, there has not been a way to crowdsource a search party to find my lost goods. Thanks to BlueBee that could all be changing very soon.
What is BlueBee?
Bluebee is a small device that you clip onto anything you might lose – your keys, your wallet, your pets…your kids. The BlueBee uses Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate with an app on your iPhone or Android device. If your object is within 50 meters, Bluebee will show up on a map on the app and you can easily locate the device.
What if the opposite happens, you have the BlueBee safely clipped to your keys, which are in your hand, but now you can’t find your phone? Simply press a button on the BlueBee and your phone will start to ring. Which has the benefit of removing this line from your life, “Honey, can you call my phone, I can’t find it again?” In fact, clicking the BlueBee is even better than calling your phone, because the BlueBee can make your phone ring, even if it is in vibrate mode.
Haven’t We Seen These Location Devices Before?
Sure. In our article on the 39 Best Gadgets For Parents From CES 2013 we talk about tracking devices like the StickNFind, BlueTracker, VIVOPlay, LifeComm and TrakDot. These devices all offer some form of tracking and assistance in locating lost objects. Like the BlueBee they tend to work with some combination of Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and an app on your phone. However, there is one thing that makes the BlueBee stand out from the pack – The Blue Crowd Search.
No, The Blue Crowd Search Is Not About Finding People Dressed in Blue
The truth is, most of the tracking devices on the market are limited because of their range. Sure, if I can’t find my keys in the house, a tracking device can help me locate what room they are in. The problem comes when I lost my keys at the mall, which is 20 miles away and these trackers just have a range of a few hundred feet. This is where the potential game changing Blue Crowd Search feature on the BlueBee comes in.
Everyone who owns a BlueBee becomes part of the Blue Crowd Search network. So, if I have lost my keys (with the BlueBee attached), I just click in the app that they are lost. Now, anyone who has the BlueBee app and happens to walk within 150 feet of my keys will “locate” my keys. For security, the stranger who just walked by my keys at the mall and located them has no idea that this action happened. On my end, I get an alert with the GPS location of my keys. Now, this is some crowdsourcing I can get behind.
Here is more info from X6, the makers of BlueBee –
“With “BlueCrowdSearch” you can find your things with the help of other BlueBee users. Wherever your lost valuables are, it can be automatically detected by the smartphone of another BlueBee user passing by, and it will notify you with the exact location. Of course, everything is automatic; other users don’t even know their devices are looking for your stuff!
This passive and fully automated user collaboration network is the first cloud-based « lost-and-found » service, and fully owned and operated by X6 Innovations. And in a near future, tens of thousands of « moving radars » will be able to help everyone find their lost property, every day.”
Why Does the BlueBee Look Like a Tape Cassette?
Here is an image of the BlueBee –
It looks like a miniature (8 mm x 27 mm x 47 mm) tape cassette. Why does it look like a tape cassette? We have no idea.
What About Battery Life on The BlueBee and On My Phone?
We were sure this was going to be the deal breaker, but according to X6, the BlueBee tracking device needs to be charged about once a year. That is not a typo – once a year! What about the drain on your smartphone? X6 is claiming the BlueBee will only use 1/500 of your phone’s battery power each day. Bluetooth 4.0 is low power Bluetooth and is much more friendly to your phone battery.
This Is a Cool Feature As Well…
What if no one in the Blue Crowd Search Network ever walks by your lost keys in the mall? You are not completely lost (could not resist). When you pair your BlueBee with your smartphone, BlueBee constantly checks if the connection is maintained with the phone. If the signal between your BlueBee and phone are lost, the smartphone will automatically memorize the location and the time when BlueBee went out of sight. This way you know when and approximately where you dropped your keys.
Sounds Great, What is The Catch?
There is one tiny catch to the BlueBee…it does not exist. Wait, don’t kill us yet, this is not some April Fools joke, it is just that the BlueBee is still being funded via Indiegogo. Indiegogo is a crowdsourced fund site where companies can try to raise money to help bring products to the market. Go ahead and take a look at the BlueBee campaign on Indiegogo.
As you can see, for a $25 pledge you can be one of the first to get a BlueBee and a lifetime membership in the Blue Crowd Search network.
Should You Invest In BlueBee?
Yes…No…Maybe??? We are not big believers in promoting Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns, because often the product sounds great but then it never materializes and everyone gets upset. We obviously have never used BlueBee and know nothing about X6, so you will have to make your own decision after reading their page.
We do think the idea of crowdsourced lost and found is a brilliant use of technology. Imagine your dog has a BlueBee collar and takes off from your backyard. If he runs within 150 feet of another BlueBee user, you get an exact location on Groover. Of course this is the classic chicken and egg scenario, the more people who have BlueBee the better the Blue Crowd Search will be. On the other hand, people may be reluctant to get BlueBee if very few other people have it, since the Blue Crowd Search will be limited.
We will keep an eye on BlueBee and try to do a full review as soon as units are available. In the meantime, has anybody seen where I put my son?
Learn More About BlueBee on Indiegogo
Here is a quick video about BlueBee –