Wearables

Key to finding your misplaced items

With the TrackR Pixel's LED lights, you can find items in the dark. It also has a ringer that can produce a 90-decibel siren.
With the TrackR Pixel's LED lights, you can find items in the dark. It also has a ringer that can produce a 90-decibel siren.PHOTO: TRACKR

Rushing for work and can't find your keys? You might want to attach the TrackR Pixel to your keychain.

About the size of a Singapore $1 coin, the Pixel is a small circular Bluetooth item tracker that helps you to find your things. It is available in black (version tested), blue, pink, red, silver and white.

This tiny tracker has no hole for you to thread it into your keychain. But it comes with a short string that you can use to do so. It also comes with a circular adhesive patch for you to stick it to a flat surface of a device that you want to track.

The Pixel has LED lights on its circumference that light up, so you can find items in the dark. It also has a ringer that can produce a 90-decibel siren.

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To start using it, you need to pair the Pixel with the TrackR app (available for Android and iOS) on your smartphone.

Press the Pixel to power it up. When it appears in the TrackR app, tap on it to finish the pairing process.

During the set-up, the app will measure the Pixel's ringer volume as well as estimate the range of Pixel.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $38

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth Low Energy

    COMPATIBILITY: Android 4.4 and later; iOS 8 and later

    WEIGHT: 4g

  • RATING

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Once paired, you can press the volume button in the app to sound the ringer siren. Conversely, you can also use the Pixel to find your smartphone. Just press the Pixel and the smartphone will ring even if it has been put on Silent mode.

During set-up, the app estimated the Pixel's range to be up to 50ft, or 15m. In my tests, I found the connection was lost when I moved beyond 10m in my office. And re-connection happened only when I was around 5m from the Pixel.

When I left my keys chained with the Pixel in my car (deliberately) parked in an open space, the connection was lost when I was about 13m away. But re-connection occurred at around 8m from my car.

The TrackR app also has a crowd-location feature. If other TrackR users walk past your item with the Pixel, your app will be updated with its last-known location. This way, you can roughly know where your lost items might be.

I didn't test this feature, as I did not want to lose the review unit. But the app said there are 2,170 users near my office, which sounds reassuring.

Unlike some Bluetooth trackers that cannot be recharged or have batteries that cannot be replaced, the Pixel uses an easily-available CR2016 coin battery.

To replace the battery, simply twist and open the back of Pixel to insert a new battery. The Pixel can last up to one year with a new battery, according to its maker.

Trevor Tan

• Verdict: If you are looking for a small and affordable Bluetooth tracker to help you find your valuables, get the TrackR Pixel.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2017, with the headline 'Key to finding your misplaced items'. Print Edition | Subscribe