New Device Warns When iPhone Goes Astray

One usually keeps his or her iPhone close at hand.  But circumstances sometimes arise which cause an iPhone and its owner to separate.  A new device aims to avoid a permanent–and heartbreaking– loss by warning an iPhone’s owner when he or she strays too far away from their prized device.

The website for the Kensington Proximo device cries, “Your iPhone is irreplaceable.  Now, make it unforgettable,” as although no device can ever prevent someone from forgetting his or her iPhone, the Proximo appears to help make it easy to recover that iPhone.

The Proximo device is actually part of a $59.99 kit that is comprised of the following:

  • An iPhone app.
  • A fob for a keychain, which also monitors the keychain itself.
  • An additional device which can track another possession, such as a purse, briefcase or even a car.  Additional devices beyond the second one are available at a cost of $24.99 each, according to the product website.

According to a diagram on the Proximo website, a user sets a defined distance for each device. Each tag is monitored using Bluetooth technology. Once he or she exceeds the specified distance, an alarm sounds on the fob.

According to a promotional video on the product website, the alarm sounds on the iPhone and the fob, providing a sort of fail safe. But if one is truly separated from his or her device, all is not lost.

Using the Proximo dashboard on the app, a user can find his or her device (and 4 additional devices for that matter) using GPS technology, easily allowing an owner to find the tracked device on map, assuming that the tracker hasn’t been removed by a less-than-honest third party, something that appears to be quite easy to do, based on the videos available on the Proximo website.

It is not clear from the product website whether or not a web-based map is available should one lose his or her iPhone. An instructional video that shows customers how to set up their Proximo makes no mention of such a feature in the section pertaining to finding a device, and the login portal makes no mention of GPS features within.

The apparent lack of a web-based map search–like one can do with “Find My iPhone”– could be the product’s one fatal flaw: if an iPhone is lost, and is too far away to activate an alarm through the fob, how does one find his or her iPhone through the Proximo device? Why not stick with “Find My iPhone” if that’s the case?

That possible flaw aside, another handy feature the product offers is the ability to “find” a product by pressing a button on the fob that is paired to a given device, much like the “page” button on the base of one’s cordless phone. If an iPhone were to be lost–and it happens to all owners at one time or another–the “find” feature can bring a quick reunion.

Although the Proximo’s ability to find an iPhone appears to at least somewhat duplicate the efforts of the built-in “Find My iPhone” feature in some aspects, it provides a “before the fact” method of preventing a forgotten device to begin with. The fact that it can track devices such as purses, cars and briefcases justifies its existence.

In the interest of full disclosure, we have not reviewed this product in person. A cursory overview, based on the product’s website and the instructional videos, leads us to believe that this is a potentially useful product with some aspects that could be improved upon, namely the security of the tags themselves and the implementation of a web portal.

In the final analysis, the Kensington Proximo is fairly priced and feature packed. How will it be received by iPhone fans?

[via: CNet]