Updated: Aug 7
There are some basic principle differences between phone reminders and item trackers even though both operate on Bluetooth® BLE. Thus, the purpose of this blog is to discuss these differences.
Item Finders (or trackers) have been on the market for over a decade. Phone Reminder Devices (PRDs) are a relatively new concept. Although item finders have toyed with a phone separation alert, they have never really gained traction because they have been plagued with false alerts and inconsistent alert distances. Item tracker product reviews show the frustration that has occurred among users noting that they are receiving too many false alerts. Some of the alerts are viewed as false alerts simply because they are an alert that is not warranted (e.g., an alert occurring when there is an OS update in the middle of the night or when the app is temporarily shut off.) Some trackers and finders have tried to mitigate these false alerts by creating hot spots where a Wi-Fi zone is declared a “no alert” zone. This also causes a problem because when a user heads out the door, they receive their alert way down the road after it is too late. Plus, if you are not in a WiFi hot spot, then you continue to get false alerts.
Phone Reminder Devices (PRDs) specifically came into the market to solve these problems: 1) eliminate false alerts; 2) provide service without an invading tracking phone app; 3) have an adjustable alert range creating a short leash on your phone; 4) use a replaceable battery with an extended battery life of up to one (1) year.
Although phone reminder devices and item finders/trackers look similar in size and shape, they are fundamentally very different.
The Fundamental Premise of a Phone Reminder Device
PRDs make the assumption that your most valuable asset is your phone. We know people lose their phone and losing it can be disastrous. For many people, the phone has become their contacts book, Tesla car key, computer access verification at work, their mobile computer containing sensitive work and personal information, calendar, wallet, means of transportation, and connection to the internet, and the outside world of friends and family. PRDs also assume you will attach it to something you don’t leave without such as your keys or your purse. When the keys or purse are on the move, then the PRD alerts if the valuable phone is being left behind.
The basic value proposition of a PRD is that it keeps you from driving or leaving without your valuable phone.
I don’t know about you but I have driven to work without my phone because I forgot it. I have accidentally left my phone in the car, plugged in to charge, while in San Francisco. Luckily my window didn’t get smashed and my phone stolen. I was listening to the KGO 810 radio and the producer had left her phone behind, and was without the verification app used to grant access to the radio stations computers and having a terrible day as a result.
The Fundamental Premise of an item tracker or finder
Item trackers and finders make the assumption that you are in possession of your phone. Then, you use the tracker app on your phone to ping the lost item (e.g., your keys, purse, backpack, etc.). Keep in mind, you must be in Bluetooth® range to ping the item and to be able to hear the ping. Outside of this range, the item is not tracked.
The basic value proposition of an item tracker/finder is that it helps you find your lost item.
Here is a clear chart as to the advantages of both the Phone Reminder Devices and Item Trackers & Finders:
The new generation of Phone Reminder Devices have their own niche which is gaining traction due to the ability to complete the task at hand (prevent phone loss) without the use of a phone app or location tracking services (both of which use a significant amount of the phone’s battery). The leading phone reminder device is the Prox PRD® which has been recently announced and available for the new year.
No subscription | No data collected or sold | CR2032: 1-year battery life (typical)
No password | No app | No registration | iPhone, Samsung, Google Pixel Compatible