tile-smart-bluetooth-tracker

How often do you place your keys somewhere around and then you have to go looking around all the place to find them as you have forgotten where exactly you have placed the? Some of us often forget important items and then spend a lot of time looking for them just to find out that they were let at the most unexpected place or were right in from of our eyes all the time and we did not see them. Fortunately there are actually quite a lot of different “smart tags” that are designed to be attached to important items such as keys and help you locate them faster and easier. This can even go beyond looking for your keys or bag to things like tracking your pet cat or dog, so that it will not be lost. The important thing however is not to loose your smartphone as you will need it in order to be able to use the tags for finding your lost or misplaced items that have been tagged. Looking around we have found out quite a lot of “smart tag” projects actually on the market with even more coming soon, so we were actually kind of surprised and probably there are even more thatn what our quick search has returned as results. Below you can find some of the more interesting devices that are available or are currently in the works…

Smart tag devices already on the market:
Tile – 1 year battery life, non user-replaceable, only compatible with iOS, available for $25 USD
SticknFind – 1 year battery life, user-replaceable, Android and iOS compatible, 2 pack available for $49.99 USD
TrackR – 1 year battery life, user-replaceable, Android and iOS compatible, available for $25 USD
Chipolo – 6 months battery life, compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone, available for about $29.49 USD
XY Findit – Android and iOS compatible, available for $21.95 USD
Pally Smart Finder – 2 years battery life, Android and iOS compatible, available for $24.99 USD
hipKey – 2-4 weeks battery life, user rechargeable, only compatible with iOS, available for $59.95 USD
LassoTag – 3 months battery life, user-replaceable, compatible only with iOS, available for $19.99 USD

Smart tag devices to be available soon:
Hiro – 3-6 months battery life, user-replaceable, Android and iOS compatible, to be available in February 2015 for $12 USD
StoneTether – 1 year battery life, user-replaceable, to be available in Aprim 2015 for $25 USD
Pip – GPS-based pet finder with GSM module, to be available June 2015 for $179 USD

thermal-camera-sample-images

As smartphones and tablets get more widely available and used for more and more things in our everyday life people are starting to expect to get more features avaiable in their pocket in the form of additional accessories for their mobile devices. One of the latest trending thing in the form of smartphone accessories are the thermal cameras that attach to your mobile device and allow you to see visually the temerature of the world around you. Thermal cameras are generally quite expensive and are used mostly by professionals for various jobs requiring thermal inspection of things, but it seems that the companies in that business as well as some enthusiasts are looking to make this functionality more widely accessible and affrodable for the normal person. With the help of a thermal camera you can do not only some fun things, but also do some useful stuff like inspect the insulation of your flat or house, monitor cable installations for overload, locate potential areas for mold growth, detect insulation leaks in your refrigerator, check your electrical equipment for problematic hot areas and others. Affordable thermal cameras can be used for many hobbies as long as they are easy to use and provide enough detail nd information to the user.

flir-one-thermal-camera-for-iphone

Looking around for the various available products in the form of termal cameras designed to be used as smartphone accessories we have actually found quite a few. Some are already available on the market and others are coming soon with devices available for both Android-bases smartphones and tablets as well as Apple iOS ones, though some of them might also be used with a Windows-based computers or tablets as well… no Windows Phone compatiblity though as you might expect. We have listed the thermal cameras designed to be used along woth your mobile device below, there are two categories – one for the ones already on the market and another one for upcoming products.

Thermal Camera accesories that are avaialble:
FLIR ONE – designed for iPhone 5/5S, priced at $349.99 USD
Seek – currently available for Android, priced at $199 USD
Therm-App – designed for Android devices, priced at $1600 USD
IR-Blue – very low res, designed for Android and iOS devices, priced at $195 USD

Thermal Camera accesories that are coming soon:
Seek – coming soon for iOS, priced at $199 USD
HemaImager – to be available for Android and iOS, priced at $250 USD

cheap-chinese-weather-stations

We wanted to get over the various cheap Chinese weather stations that monitor the temperature, humidity and air pressure at home or in the office with not so good accuracy. There are quite a lot of various models designed to be cheap that you can buy under various brands, but what is common is that the level of accuraciy of these can vary a lot. Just an example as you can see on the photo above – two exact same devices bought together are showing 10% difference in the reported humidity in the same place. This is not 10% variance in accuracy, this is 10% diffectence in the actual value reported. The difference is that at 42% humidity level 10% variance means the device can report between 37.8% and 46.2%, but we are getting 52% instead on the other device… talk about accuracy. So we went on a quest to see what better alternatives are available out there, gadgets that can monitor the environment we live in more accurately and can do just more than reporting some numbers.

cubesensors-single-cube-in-hand

After a bit of reseaching what new smarter personal weather stations or home environment devices are available or are soon upcoming we have found out that there are actually quite a few projects. The one that seemed as a great solution for our needs that required the monitoring of multiple rooms simultaneously was the Sensor Cubes that allows the use of multiple sensors and you can get additional sensors for more rooms if you already got a kit. So we have ordered a 4-room Sensor Cubes kit and we are going to soon be sharing our feedback from the device, but meanwhile below you can find a list of all the interesting projects we have found. We have separated them in two categories, one for devices that are already available on the market and another one for devices that are coming soon and you can pre-order them.

Already available devices:
Cube Sensors – indoor only, 2 room kit is priced at about $289 USD
NetAtmo – 1 indoor and 1 outdoor sensors priced at about $208 USD
Tempo Environment Monitor – single indoor sensor, available for $70 USD
Prestigio Smart Weather Station – single indoor sensor priced at about $43 USD

Coming soon devices:
BloomSky – single internal ($59 USD) or external sensor ($169 USD), available for preorder
NinjaSphere – single indoor sensor, additional smarttag sensors, available fot pre-order for $329 USD
Stormtag – avalable for pre-order, single indoor/outdoor sensor, priced at $59.90 USD
WiMoto – avalable for pre-order, single indoor/outdoor sensor, priced at $49 USD
Alima – Beta testing, single indoor sensor, no price listed

Home security and environment monitoring:
Canary – single unit, available for pre-order, priced at $249 USD
Withings Home – single unit, available for pre-order, priced at $199.95 USD

Smart air quality and fire alarms:
Nest Protect – available for $99 USD
Birdi – to be available for $119 USD

Sleep environment monitoring
ResMed S+ – single non-contact unit, available for order for $149.99 USD
Hello – base station plus a single tag, available for preorder for $129 USD

top