Remote Key Finders: Panic Mode Disabled!
With kids and pets in the house, panic mode is definitely inevitable in the mornings, especially if you also need to get to work. The last thing you want is to hunt for your keys, especially when you know one of the pets is probably hiding them in their favorite spot or you’ve simply forgot where you last put them. This is where remote key finders come into the picture!
Also called key locators, remote key finders are electronic devices which can be used to find anything, as long as it has a receiver on it. Keys, wallets, mobile phones and cameras are among the most-searched for items and can easily be traced without having to turn the house upside-down.
A Brief History of Remote Key Finders
Key finders were initially very basic electronic devices which responded to sound in the form of a whistle or a clap with a beep. They were large, bulky and didn’t work too well because of poor battery performance and too many false alarms. Imagine ambient noise in the house making your keys beep all the time.
Similarly, if the keys were out of your immediate environment, clapping and whistling didn’t help, since the receiver couldn’t pick up the sound. Clapping for other reasons was a complete no-no, since it set the keys off, even if they were in your line of sight. All these cons forced customers to send back the remote key finders and the story almost ended there.
It was then that these first-generation devices were replaced with second-generation, which used the more-appropriate radio-wave technology. Patented in 1998 by Cheryl J. Skeffington and Kathy S. Walker, these are smaller in size and use both transmitter and receiver, usually with the transmitter in a specific spot and the receiver attached to the keys or other items. As the tech improved over the years, second generation moved on to third generation with Bluetooth connectivity via peer-to-peer networking.
This works by combining a transmitter and receiver into the same device, which thus makes it easy to find any item lost by using another item to transmit a signal. So if you have remote key finders connected to your wallet, your phone and your keys, you can use the keys to find the wallet, the wallet to find the phone and vice versa.
Today, technology being what it is, remote key finders usually involve only ‘tags’ and smartphone apps.
How Remote Key Finders Work
Technically, there are two different types of remote key finders. The first one works using radio frequencies while the second type uses Bluetooth. With the first type, a signal is transmitted via radio waves and this signal is then detected by the receiver.
When you press the button on the base, it sends a signal which is intercepted by the receiving ‘tag’ which is attached to your keys, and this ‘tag’ then either emits an audio signal or an electric signal causing the LEDs in the tag to light up. This is perfect for use in the dark, especially if you’re trying to get out of the house without waking anyone up.
The Bluetooth type of remote key finder is what is commonly used these days, especially since most people have smartphones. Here, all you need are tags that can be paired via Bluetooth to your phone. If your keys get lost, all you have to do is open your tracking app and emit a signal via Bluetooth to the tag. In most key finders that use Bluetooth, the tags can also be used to find your phone, via two-way transmission.
How to Buy a Remote Key Finder
With the newest technology, remote key finders are becoming smaller and more sophisticated with some of the latest styles being very appealing to the eye while embracing great functionality. With the many different types and designs of remote key finders, how can you choose which one to go for?
When it comes to getting a good remote key finder, there are a few points that you need to take under consideration. First of all, you need to ask yourself: Do you keep losing your keys often or is it a once-in-a-while scenario? This will help you determine your budget, since you need to invest in something that will last you a while, especially if you’re very prone to losing your keys and other items.
Also, another aspect you need to look into is design. The design of your key finder should be neat and compact, so it doesn’t draw attention. These days, there are quite a few flat tags, which can even fit into a wallet.
Another main consideration is range. Opt for one which has a good range of 80 -100 feet, so you don’t have difficulty finding your keys from your living room even if they’re in your bedroom.Another aspect that you need to look into is two-way transmission so your keys can be used to find your phone if you happen to mislay it.
Applications of Key Finders
Apart from the usual key finding scenario, these key finders can be used in many different ways. An Alzheimer’s patient can use these to find their personal items. Hospitals use them for patients to call nurses within the ward. Restaurants use these to contact their customers when their orders are ready, whereas museums use them to help patrons get around and enhance the visit experience via availing of pertinent information regarding specific exhibits that patrons are in close proximity to. These are all very innovative ways of using remote key finders.
Some of the Choice Remote Key Finders for 2017
While there are many manufacturers of remote key finders, there are only a few products which feature everything you want in a key finder! Some of these encompass the Tile Mate, the TrackR Pixel,, the Chipolo Plus, the Where’s the Remote, and the Click ‘n Dig E4 to mention a few. Each has its pros and cons, but if you’re looking for something that encompasses all your requirements in the remote key finder, this list is a good place to begin.