Review – Chipolo thing-finder extraordinaire

ChipoloOK this has got nothing to do with running or biking or swimming. It’s not even THAT gadgety. But it is a clever little idea that needs to do well. Here I am telling you about it.

I bumped into this product at the Wearables show in Excel last month and was taken in by what this can do. It’s probably not unique; I really don’t know. But it’s a great way of not losing stuff. Perhaps tape one underneath your bike saddle in case of theft?

The Chipolo is a stuff finder. With a twist.

You shake the Chipolo and it finds your connected Bluetooth phone causing the phone to ring even in silent mode.

You can use it in reverse where the app finds your chipolo. You might have it on a keyring for example.

*IF* Chipolo take over the world and everyone installs their app then other people’s apps report the position of your distant Chipolo eg taped under your stolen bike’s seat. The Chipolo APP automatically records the last time and place it had contact with the Chipolo. I assume the same is also true of the Chipolo web-based system.

Positives: It just works, really. It paired. The app downloaded. Nothing has crashed. No manual was read. It has a replaceable coin battery so battery life will be measured in weeks I imagine. It’s GREAT for a game of hide-and-seek with kids.

The clever thing about it is the use of GPS. So if you drop your keys in the park and don’t know that. Then the app tells you where it last had contact with the Chipolo. Of course if someone subsequently moves the Chipolo that won’t help. But at least it gives you a much better chance than zero of finding your keys.

HOWEVER. And here is the twist. IF that person who moves your keys has the Chipolo app OR indeed if it come sinto contact with ANY other Chipolo app the Chipolo Net-Infrastructure-Thingy confidentially records the latest position. So this can have a use amongst the phones/apps of your family but also of course over the wider world. If, that is, everyone installs Chipolo.

Negatives:

At some point you’ll have to replace the battery, I suppose. not rocket science. I’ve not especially noticed my dying phone’s battery life having got any worse. It’s pretty bad anyway and this will undoubtedly have made it a little worse.

It seems to work Ok for me indoors up to about 15/20m. The claimed range of 200ft will be in ideal conditions.

The ring on the Chipolo could be louder but it’s Ok.

The direction finder on the app is not so great or accurate or intuitive for me to use and, indeed, the distances that are reported seem a bit out. But I find things easily enough by the ring.

Comments: Well I thought it was a good idea.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

The Chipolo is useful for people who lose stuff, like my partner. Not me. Never. Of course it will never be useful for me as I never lose stuff (ahem!!). But I have the app installed just in case other people lose their Chipolo 😉 . Altruism in its purest form!

Detailed Review: n/a

Price (rrp) At £20 (UK) they are not cheap but they come down to about £15 when bought directly in bulk (4).

Disclaimer: Yes it’s a freebie but I do actually use it and like it. I might buy a few more if I start to lose stuff. Which I don’t. Ever. Remember?

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