Updated: Aug 7
What is a phone separation alert?
We have become accustomed to having our phones with us at all times. After all, our phone serves multiple purposes in our lives. We store our contacts, passwords, banking information, COVID-19 vaccination records, photos, emails, and a long history of text messages on our phones. Phones now are used to unlock and drive a Tesla, unlock a home’s front door, allow access to work computers, and arrange for and pay for transportation. Being separated from our phones can cause a great amount of anxiety. It can also keep us from that important phone call or the ability to quickly return a call to the office. Having our phones with us has not only become extremely important, but for many people, it also has become a necessity.
A phone separation alert is an alarm or alert that a device provides when it has inferred it is no longer in proximity to a protected phone. Separation alerts typically occur when the device’s Bluetooth® connection with a protected phone is broken. Phone separation alert functionality and devices have been available for almost a decade but they have been extremely unreliable and, in some cases, the manufacturers have given up on the product or this specific alert feature in response to customer dissatisfaction.
The online reviews tell the story of phone separation alert devices. Customers are unhappy with:
a) The number of false alerts, even with the phone next to the separation alert device;
b) The device failing to give an alert;
c) The device failing to reconnect to the associated required phone app;
d) An alert distance so far away that the customer is already down the street before it alerts (sometimes up to a quarter-mile away);
e) The requirement to keep the separation alert device associated phone app and its location services always running in the background, thereby draining the phone's battery; and
f) Device battery life of only a few months or much shorter than claimed.
“Advanced Alert Technology” defined
Prox Devices® was aware of these basic poor user experiences and made decisions early on that set the company on a course to solve each of them. Prox Devices was bound and determined to not release a product until each of these issues was resolved. They even decided not to release the product before the Christmas holiday season because they wanted to complete all aspects of the alert testing to be sure they were selling the most robust phone separation device on the market, period! This management decision set the company on a path of developing their patent pending Advanced Alert Technology™, specifically keeping the user experience in mind. After thousands of hours of engineering and testing, and over two-hundred iterations of the software code (firmware), the Prox PRD® was born and ready for market. Its introduction was the result of enormous collaboration, yielding a fantastic “app-less one-der” (i.e., no app and one button) that is now available for sale. The basic principles of their Advanced Alert Technology™ fall into eight specific categories of which the high-level philosophy is discussed here (details will be in the patent and of course, they elect to keep some of the secret sauce… well, in fact, secret).
1) Reliable Alerts
The Prox PRD is known for its reliability. This is not by accident. The Prox PRD technology has several layers of patent pending technology and even secret sauce trade secrets to increase the reliability of the connection to the phone. The Prox PRD™ even has a connection alert when resuming proximity to the phone.
2) Smart Learning
The Prox PRD continuously monitors and aggressively adapts to the user’s environment. It will analyze the current (and any new environment) to determine the most robust and stable frequency channels for connecting to the phone. But not to worry, the user won't have to do anything; the PRD will automatically perform this task as the user continues to use the device as s/he normally would. While the PRD is learning a new environment, it may temporarily alert at shorter distances until it fully adapts. This will ensure the best user experience possible.
3) Movement-Based Alerts
One of the main differences between the Prox PRD and other proximity devices, is that it contains an accelerometer. As the name implies, an accelerometer measures acceleration-based movement. With “Home Mode”, the accelerometer restricts the PRD from alerting unless it is on the move. The basic principle is that if you are heading out to the store, you most likely have your keys and when you walk to your car, you are on the move, and the PRD alerts if you have left your phone behind. Alternatively, with “Travel Mode”, the PRD ignores the accelerometer and will also alert if the phone is on the move and the PRD is not. These movement-based alerts also prevent alerts from occurring within the home when the PRD is set down by the front door and you are walking around the house with your phone. It also prevents false alerts from occurring in the middle of the night because the PRD is not moving when you are asleep.
4) No App – No Tracking
The Prox PRD was created with the concept that it would not be a tracker and thus would not need a downloadable mobile app. The Prox PRD operates without location tracking (“location services”), which drains your phone’s battery. The PRD operates without registration or a subscription, thus always giving users the peace of mind of true 100% privacy.
Typically, for trackers to work, their app must remain open in the background of the phone’s operation. Not only does this have an additional drain on the phone’s battery, but it also can be annoying when trying to close apps on a periodic basis. Prox Devices wanted to fulfill a promise that it would not track, it would not collect user data, and it would not sell user data. Check, check, and check!
5) No False Alerts
The Prox PRD is full of false alert mitigation patent pending technology. With false alerts being the leading problem among current proximity and separation alert devices, the PRD was engineered to mitigate false alerts. There are multiple layers of false alert mitigation engineered into the PRD so that when it alerts, it is a real separation from the phone. This is the secret sauce and the PRD's ability to eliminate false alerts almost completely, even on lower power settings, has even astonished them, the manufacturer. The alerts have been tested in extreme RF environments and when compared to many other devices, the Prox PRD has come out on top; test after test.
6) Adjustable Alert Distance
The Prox PRD has the ability to adjust the alert distance. The default alert distance has been extensively tested to alert you before forgetting your phone and leaving it behind in environments such as at home, at the office, in the car, or in a restaurant, store, hotel, etc. Different environments may have different alert ranges for the same alert distance setting. Do initial testing at the default alert distance before making adjustments. The PRD will alert before you get too far from your phone. Alert distance ranges can vary greatly and may be shorter or further for some phone models and environments, especially if both the PRD and phone are outside in an open space/area and there are no obstructions — e.g., buildings, walls, doors, trees, or even people.
Distances vary based on the user’s location, the position and orientation of the phone, the position and orientation of the PRD, and the RF environment. For example, the alert distance can be further if both the PRD and phone are outside in an open space/area and there are no obstructions — e.g., buildings, walls, doors, trees, or even people. This adjustable feature allows for the user to select their preference and select a distance that alerts them before they drive off in their car. This is much different than receiving a long-range, non-adjustable phone separation alert down the block or even up to a quarter-mile away.
7) Adjustable Alert Tune
Let’s face it. People like to choose their alert tune. Some people have impaired hearing with hearing loss at certain frequencies. Prox Devices understands this and has equipped the Prox PRD with a selection of alert tunes encompassing various durations, pitches, and frequencies so that a tune can be selected that best fits the user and their surrounding environment. It is also nice to be able to select different tunes if there is more than one PRD in the same household or office.
8) Incredible Battery Savings
Simply put, based on movement and connectivity, the Prox PRD knows when it should be operating as a phone reminder separation alert device. Thus, if not connected and not on the move (e.g., on a handbag not being used, or a set of keys that is not used that day) then the PRD will go into a low-power mode so as to significantly reduce battery consumption because it does not need to broadcast a connection signal until it is picked up and moved. This and several other special battery savings goodies are implemented to give the Prox PRD™ up to one (1) year battery life. Prox Devices is so confident in the PRD's battery savings that it has published a battery consumption chart in the User Manual for user reference.
The Prox PRD with its inherent Advanced Alert Technology™ is simply amazing. This is a well-engineered product by a team that cares about the user and their real-world experiences. For example, the Prox PRD takes into account OS updates and won’t alert you unless the phone is off and you are on the move. It also seamlessly navigates “Airplane Mode”, the turning off of Bluetooth®, and the phone shutting off when its battery dies. And there is much more that goes into the PRD, but Prox Devices has to keep some of the secrets under wraps. Try a Prox PRD® and let them know how you like the experience. They would love to hear from you.
The Prox PRD® Phone Reminder Device – Separation Alert
Phone Separation Alert | Phone Reminder | Phone Tether | Phone Finder | Phone Leash | Phone Tracker | Find My Phone
No subscription | No data collected or sold | CR2032: 1-year battery life (typical)
No password | No app | No registration | iPhone, Samsung, Google Pixel Compatible