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Launch HN: Got-it (YC W19) – Bluetooth labels for tracking things at work
411 points by brian_krejcarek on Dec 16, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 143 comments
Hi Everyone,

It’s Brian and David here and we want to share what we’ve built — ultra thin Bluetooth labels called Got-it (https://got-it.com). It’s like Tile, but for B2B or Enterprise.

Got-it is for tracking things at work as a team. Simply peel and stick, no different from a barcode sticker. But, these are active Bluetooth labels. They're flexible and roughly the size of a little Avery barcode label (28mm x 76mm) and less than 0.5mm thick. They communicate with the phones already in employee pockets, even in background mode. That means no scanning like RFID, and no readers or gateway infrastructure to install in the ceiling or the doorways.

A few photos here: (https://imgur.com/gallery/rApt25P)

We started Got-it as a solution for all that really simple stuff that went missing at home. There were loads of little things, like iPhone charger cables or even Chapstick, that when forgotten or went missing, made life a little difficult. Sure, I could put a Bluetooth tracker on everything… but they’re expensive and a little clunky, especially for a $1.99 stick of Chapstick. The reality though, is that when stuff around the house goes missing, it’s just kinda annoying. At work, it’s a different ballgame. It costs money.

Here’s how it works for businesses. Anyone at work sticks a label on shared things like tools, equipment, storage boxes, or packages to ship. By everyone just walking around as normal, in a warehouse, factory, or campus, the Got-it app picks up a beacon from the labels. The location of the item (within an approximate 10 meter zone) and who it’s been with, is then shared with the team if a coworker needs to know.

Our integrated software stack makes it happen. We stumbled on a way to make our Bluetooth beacon firmware more reliably trigger background processing in phones, while still preserving ultra low power consumption. To do so, we ended up writing low-level embedded code, in less than 1.5KB and 135 Bytes RAM, to control the radio registers directly, without a BLE stack. Phones receive just enough information from our labels to enable a lean, low-power positioning algorithm we wrote.

The labels we make ourselves, in house, here in the USA and UK. It’s a reel-to-reel manufacturing process (like making tape) that we developed. We’re printing circuits using coatings on thin films. We can create passive components, like inductors and capacitors using these inks and laminates by taking advantage of the thin geometry of the substrate itself. Our bill of materials is just a few lines long, so sourcing in China isn’t needed.

We also came up with a way of electrochemically coating our circuit to form our own battery source that lasts over a year. That’s particularly why we decided to keep the manufacturing in-house. The process is fully automated, involving just the machine we built, and an operator. It just didn’t make sense to hand over the manufacturing IP to a contract manufacturer or outsource this to China.

Manufacturing ourselves, locally, also helps in avoiding tariffs and contract manufacturing mark-ups. That’s key since the labels will be sold in volume at very small margins. The company makes money from a recurring SW model around asset and inventory tracking services. Note, the $99 pricing for ten labels on our website is just for the kit to get started today with your company team. Our target cost at scale will be less than $1.

We just ran our first pre-production lot, and are pre-launching with some inventory to ship right away. It’d be great to learn your thoughts on how Got-its might work for you or applications we might be missing. We’re ramping our manufacturing line into higher volume production in the Spring of next year. Keep tabs on our twitter @realGot_it for launch announcements.

Thanks in advance! Brian

This is cool as hell. Would love to see this re-adapted for regular end-user (non-business) use, as my husband and I use tile for this and it's sort of crap. Why is tile crap?

* the find-your-phone feature activates by accident all the time in our pockets, which can be pretty embarrassing. If I could I would just disable that feature as google home can find my phone just fine.

* when I actually lose my keys/wallet, the tile typically won't connect. In a meeting when my keys press against my wallet, it connects without fail.

* the batteries die pretty quickly, and the only recourse is to buy a new tile

* there doesn't seem to be (and should be) some sort of proximity tech based on roundtrip time -- make it beep rapidly as roundtrip time gets shorter (waiting for massive comments about why this doesn't necessarily indicate proximity)

Our decision to go down the B2B route rather than the B2C route is predominately two fold:

- We think the product works better as a solution in the B2B space.

- At the moment we only really have the resources to focus on one product.

At some point through I'd really like for us to have a B2C offering but realistically it won't be for a while - sorry!

"there doesn't seem to be (and should be) some sort of proximity tech based on roundtrip time -- make it beep rapidly as roundtrip time gets shorter (waiting for massive comments about why this doesn't necessarily indicate proximity)"

To be fair to Tile, this is a limitation of BLE and the hardware on phones. Measuring round trip time would require hardware support on the phone and probably a much more expensive tracker. Instead what is available is RSSI or received signal strength indicator. It's an ok measurement but suffers from:

- Multi path, signals being reflected and arriving from different directions

- Antenna that aren't perfectly omni directional

- Signal absorption e.g. large bodies of water (usually people) not being great at letting signals go through them.

That said the new BLE 5.1 standard ratified at the beginning of this year provides angle of arrival and or angle or departure for bluetooth signals so you can tell which direction a bluetooth signal is coming from. We're eagerly waiting to find out if it will be supported on smartphones as it's an optional part of the specification and requires additional hardware. Honestly though it's a long shot - getting one antenna working well on a smartphone is difficult. Getting 4 (which 5.1 A0A requires) may end up being too difficult / not worth it for smartphone manufacturers.

Totally understand about the B2B thing,

Regarding BLE -- is that really a limitation though? Even if the hardware / API won't give you a good indication of signal strength, surely there is nothing stopping you from taking a timestamp, sending a packet to the BT device, taking a second timestamp when the response arrives from the device, and using t2 - t1 to measure "strength"? There are papers on how people have been able to triangulate a physical location based on three ping times -- this seems a lot simpler as it's the 1-D version of that problem. Worst case scenario you need a nano-second precision clock, but the principle should still work.

Clarification: researchers have been able to triangulate a physical location based on ping times to 3 widely-spread locations.

And you can do the same with signal strengths.

Basically, anything that varies with distance can be made to work.

Another B2B advantage is you actually talk with people that makes decissions.

If they become customers, you know about the product directly from them and might even charge for some kind support.

In B2C it is very hard to know both your customers and all the expectations they have about your product.

Newer Tiles have replaceable batteries. Also the app shows how close you are to the Tile and it seems to work. Also I seem to be able to find these, where with the older ones I had the same issue as you where I couldn’t find them when I wanted to.

I still press the button from my pocket and call my phone though. Grr.

My husband and I call it the "fat alarm" when it goes off. "Uh oh, my fat alarm is going off!"

> If I could I would just disable that feature as google home can find my phone just fine.

You can disable this on a per-tile basis: https://tileteam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207274527-Fin... - instructions are at the bottom of that article.

Note that it doesn't stop the tile itself from beeping - just the phone from ringing. I don't know why there isn't an option for that.

Still solves half of the problem for me, so thanks!

Newer tiles have replaceable batteries, which is great, but the find phone button is even bigger and easier to press accidentally. Arrgghh.

You can disable find my phone individually for each tile in the app, but there’s no way to disable for all tiles and it just stops the phone ringing so the tile still bloops.

Not to mention Tile charges an ongoing subscription fee for zero-cost features like alerting you when you lose connection to a Tile.

This is so incredible.

Not every HN reader designs circuits day to day but to put this in terms of you may be able to relate to - most circuits are designed the same way within one or two standard deviations. This is like 20 standard deviations away from how it's usually done. Aside from a great use case this is some very clever lateral thinking.

Incredibly unique and special. A great hack. Blown away really.

>> we ended up writing low-level embedded code, in less than 1.5KB and 135 Bytes RAM, to control the radio registers directly

This kind of code size could be common in the 80s, but today?

Wow, that is high praise. Can you explain in more detail what's unique and special?

All commercial circuit boards are designed with computer aided design tools. An unfortunate consequence of these tools are monocultural, emergent styling decisions that stem from the tooling's schema. John Maeda has half a dozen books on this - he suggests one must design ones own tools if you don't want to look like everyone else and compete with the same strengths and weaknesses as everyone else. For obvious reasons, most people don't.

The default way of designing circuits is in 2D planar view. It's uncommon to think about circuits in 3D and uncommon to think about the material science of these things.

What makes Got-It special is not just that the broke the conventions of the traditional EE design patterns but that they broke them in so many different places. Where most people would use a readily available Bluetooth Chip, it sounds like they sourced the core to half-a-chip (Bluetooth MCU chips are often a combination of Arm processor, memory, radio, power management, and communication cores - it's not common to just take a few of these things - they're sold as a package but all those parts take power and this thing has a very tight power budget). They wrote their own Bluetooth stack (this alone is a multi-year project). That stack they wrote took into account weird specification...divergences...that the Bluetooth SIG says one should do but Apple/Android don't. The circuit they designed only works with the manufacturing process they had to develop for this chip - designs are usually done on rectangular boards, not tape. Most people don't make their own passive components they source them. Most people don't think about their circuit in 4D (that is 3D+movement as it bends in use). Most people don't think about making their own manufacturing equipment to serve a SaaS like business goal. I'm not even getting into the battery part which is bananas. The list goes on, as Brian enumerated above, but the combination of so many of these things represents a radical departure from 'business as usual' and the start of a new design movement as has happened when people transitioned from using drafting tables to computers decades ago.

It's not so much that they broke walls, as they broke walls that people didn't even realize were there AND that they broke so many of them.

Again, well done!

+1 to everything in parent comment. This is seriously insane. Esp the part about the batteries.

This is what I imagine a startup should do - develop groundbreaking core technology that nobody else would dream of doing. The actual product is just a minor side effect of all this technology.

When was the last time someone made a new product that was possible only because they developed new manufacturing technologies?

We're flattered honestly. While some of this is stretching what we've done e.g. we didn't write a full BLE stack just the tiny amount we needed and it certainly didn't take years! Know we (and especially Brian) are humbled by your words.

To us this is what Manufacturing 4.0 is all about, simplifying a product to make something cheaper and better than standard supply chains can.

The engineering behind this is indeed rad, but (playing devil's advocate): doesn't this go against the lean startup (also, YC) way of releasing MVPs that don't "scale"? In this case, re-engineer circuit design, write your own bluetooth stack (in part). Wouldn't they have gotten to market faster and learned faster with off the shelf parts to test their idea out?

Yeah it does seem like they put a ton of effort into this before proving demand, but fuck lean startup. This is called "building great stuff".

Not an expert, but this sounds like this tech needed to be developed to make the product useful for it's job. The MVP wouldn't have the "V" using off the shelf components.

That should be telling you that "lean startup" and all those other conventions don't always apply. It is not necessary for success, and success isn't guaranteed if you _do_ follow them.

Hi Brian! Big Tile user here with some chemistry backround, this is super interesting. Couple of questions:

1. Can you go a bit more into how the battery is integrated into the device? If it's integrated, is it still using standard anodes / cathodes and redox, or is it a capacitor, or is the battery still a separate component? This is normally the trickiest thing (vs the printed circuits on thin films) so this is why I ask.

2. How durable are the tags? Tiles can take quite a hit and still function pretty normally, which is why people use them for things like tagging cats. Do they work underwater? Do they work after element exposure? Any testing around this?

3. How flexible are the tags? Can I wrap them around round objects (this would be huge for me, since right now I am duct-taping tiles to things that are round, which is sub-optimal.

4. Do the devices broadcast how much battery they have left? Tiles have a great feature that tell me early on when they need to be replaced.



— In the current ones we’re shipping right now, the battery is one of those thin lithium primaries, ~0.45mm. But, in the version that’s coming out, we’re coating the anode and cathode materials on two different substrates and laminating them together on a reel-to-reel process.

— They’re pretty durable, but they are labels (laminated polypropylene and PET) with a very thin layer of polyurethane foam less than 0.3mm. Water resistant: yes, but underwater, probably not. Those that are shipping now aren’t fully hermetically sealed, but the next version will be, as the lamination stack-up forms part of the battery pouch.

— Yes, they are flexible. The only issue we’re having at the moment is their thickness of 0.5mm and dissimilar materials of the stack-up causing some pulling-back of the laminates around really tight radii. But, we think we’ve solved this in the next version, targeting an overall thickness of 0.3mm and different materials.

— The battery level is something that’s included in the beacon message, and is updated once a day.

Thanks Brian! Sounds awesome.

EDIT: Found your website, ordering a few now. Can't wait for android support!

> Do they work underwater?

Bluetooth frequencies are absorbed (not sure if this is the right term) by water since the bluetooth frequency and water's resonant frequency is the same. This is why covering a bluetooth beacon with your hands drops the signal strength significantly (water in your hands absorbs most of the signal). Submerging a bluetooth device will probably significantly decrease the signals strength even if the device survives the submergence.

Do you have to re-apply the labels each year? If the battery dies, this wouldn't scale well for the labor involved to replace the labels each year?

Very very cool!

I run a warehouse with ~10K slabs of granite/marble. We currently use barcodes. There is a barcode on each slab and there is a barcode on each bin number. We have a tough time making sure we know what's where.


- Any way to code multiple properties onto each label (to map to our ERP system)?

- What happens when batteries start running out? Warning at certain battery life?

- Do you have a web version and/or API for this?

- Can I map out my warehouse on the got-it app and label stuff so I know where each slab is in context to the warehouse?

These might be silly questions, but your project got me really excited about all the possibilities!

Edit: Just ordered the starter pack.

Any way to code multiple properties onto each label (to map to our ERP system)?

> Coming very soon, should be in pre-prod before Christmas

What happens when batteries start running out? Warning at certain battery life?

> Not an imminent problem but we do currently get back data on battery life and well before batteries start to fade this will be there.

Do you have a web version and/or API for this?

> There are more enterprise specific features coming including web interfaces. This is being tracked by customer demand. API is not currently on the roadmap.

Can I map out my warehouse on the got-it app and label stuff so I know where each slab is in context to the warehouse?

> We have pilots doing this and it's coming in a more integrated way Q1 next year.

I'd really like to talk to you in a bit more detail about your use case and how we can support you. My email is david@got-it.com

10 labels and app for $99 is a great price, even for the home user. I imagine that would get cheaper with time and scale? I could imagine this product as a "Shark Tank" kind of product. Parents would pay $99 to stick this on their kids most important items (school bag, etc.) to save time getting ready. Most people would use it on their keys. Would be handy on a phone too even if it has a find function using gps.

This looks great. A dream I've had is to put some sort of tag on everything I own, and put readers in closets and drawers. That way when I need a, say, 10 ft USB A to mini B cable, I can just ask my computer where it is and go get it. Instead I take everything out of the drawer where I think it is, fail to find it, move stuff out of the way so I can go up to my attic, root around up there for a while, fail to find it, order a new one on Amazon, put it away when I'm done... and then repeat the process again.

This technology is new so it's a little cost-prohibitive for that use case... but I hope that we're getting closer. Can I sign up for a mailing list to stay up to date on this? (I don't use Twitter.)

Love it. Though, not sure what we’ve got going here would work the best in that particular scenario. It’s really more for work, where things are spread out over larger areas. We’re leveraging the phones already in peoples’ pockets to be the readers per se. Nonetheless, shoot us an email at team@got-it.com and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

> We’re leveraging the phones already in peoples’ pockets to be the readers per se. Nonetheless, shoot us an email at team@got-it.com and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.

In some industrial settings, it's probably reasonable to kit this with devices that could communicate with a switch / network for large-scale asset management without phone apps.

This is a great idea, guys, and serious kudos to working it out. I'll be passing this along to our process guys and upper management.

A few years ago I bought some beacons from estimote with a couple ideas to use them for... never did though. Wonder if my beacons still have battery power since they've just been sitting.

How is the tech different from https://www.wiliot.com/ and how did you guys manage to be first to market as I thought they were the pioneers of the ultra-thin thin bluetooth stickers?

Absolutely - you can buy ours today and we'll ship tomorrow!

I guess we haven't been very vocal about what we're doing, we wanted to have something that worked and was tested before shouting about it.

> We have a very small power source inside our labels - this gives us a range of 20m+.

> Williot don't have a battery and I imagine instead reflect signals. Having previously worked in the RF energy harvesting space I would imagine their range is at best 3ft.

And so while their tech is extremely cool (provided it works, once burnt twice shy as they say) it's a different use case.

follow up question - does it need at least a few active users to triangulate the sticker position or would 1 user be enough?

if so, how are you able to determine location from a single bluetooth beacon and user? I know for example the tile app will only tell you how far you are from the tile as opposed to the position of the tile.

I think this is a really neat idea. I am always interested by the being able to find my stuff items.

Although I wonder if having a lot of bluetooth devices will overwhelm devices. For example, when you're in a plane or in a hotel is not the time to pair your bluetooth - there are so many devices in the list that sometimes it's impossible to find it or search on that list. These lists are usually deep in the OS so they are kind of tricky to work with. Have you figured out some way to handle this? Does it not apply due to some kind of device type filtering? I'm also curious as to how many bluetooth devices one phone can connect to! Maybe I've just had a lot of bluetooth problems.

Hey David here from Got-it, we're not forming BLE connections which require handshakes every 20ms and thus the difficulty in paring in crowded BLE environments. We just need to pick up the occasional radio event for our solution to work. As you've correctly identified phones are also limited to the number of connections they can form. We have successfully tested with 1500 labels all in the same cardboard box and that worked well.

I have a 3yr old with glasses. Well, sometimes he has them but often he doesn't. Would these work for helping to track/find his glasses? Obviously his frames aren't super large and he's curious so if it isn't secured well it may end up being removed and stuck on a cat at some point but even if it only lasted a few months it could be a god-send for us.

Is this a scenario that would benefit from your product? If so how can I get a pair - even if just to try out for your v2 line. Anything you can do to help relieve the stress of a few parents frantically searching for glasses would be very welcome.

Hey really sorry to report but I honestly don't see people putting one of our labels on glasses. I think it would make the glasses kinda uncomfortable - and we are very much targeted towards B2B applications. Sorry again :-(

As a parent of a small child with glasses, yes a product like this, as a very tiny sticker, would be critical for many things, toddler's glasses cost $700 plus tax and there are so many expensive and difficult to replace medical items that children and patients of all ages lose constantly, (orthotics, arm braces, teeth retainers, dentures) and they lose them most often when in hospital, or in a nursing home, or school. Yes I understand you are interested in B2B only, but, as I sit here in my living room, I am surrounded by 13 different items that send out Bluetooth signals. It's doable. And when my did lose the first pair of $700 glasses--it was in a park. I spent hours carefully going back and forth, dividing the place into grids, on my hands and knees before giving up. May I suggest you talk to companies that manufacture glasses? Or online retailers like www.zennioptical.com Or popular children's label manufacturer www.MabelsLabels.com Which would allow consumers to buy them, and dear God then I could track the irreplaceable priceless, stuffies my child cannot lose. If you are not a parent, I realize that you won't understand, but I am telling you, nursing homes and daycare sales alone could make you a billion dollars. Somehow, hearing aids have microscopic Bluetooth inside and it has utterly changed that industry, but they don't make them as tiny stickers. Tiles are too large, and don't stick. Best of luck--and if you can't do consumer sales, can someone else on this thread please do it! :)

I don't think anything is preventing you or anyone else from plunking down $100 and testing Got-Its out for consumer use. I just wouldn't expect it to be greatly supported in the near term.

I was thinking about this for home use too, but it only can pinpoint up to 10 meters.

At least in my house, that would basically be telling me they're in the front half or back half of the house, which I guess would be vaguely useful but not really for locating specific objects.

And if it's not in the house then I'd have to be lucky enough to happen to walk near it at some point, since it relies on your company's (ie your family's) phones.

Actually, you will get better accuracy by triangulating with multiple phones (see this comment by OP https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21809488 ) Even though I am not sure if their software supports triangulation, or you will have to do it yourself.

I certainly can see the interest in using the product for this, as reading the specs I get the impression it will perform much better than the usual commercially available tagging solutions for consumers that tend to be too bulky, expensive and are generally crap.

Personally I think someone with the time to try out this market should do it, as your needs are going to be different than the B2B market Got-It is targeting.

Aside from that one way to defray the cost of Got-It for personal use would be to have collectives formed for purchasing solutions adapted to a particular problem.

Unfortunately I don't think every country has the organizational forms that would make this easy, in Denmark we have an organizational form called the forening that would handle the need admirably - but I'm not sure if the American non-profit model would.

What if you attached a band to the glasses, like this https://www.amazon.ca/Croakies-Eyewear-Retainer-Kryptek-X-La... and then put the sticker on the band?

I love your unique process! This way of thinking about manufacturing always charmed me, best of luck to your team!

Cheers, really appreciated

Hi, although it works with phones, would you be interested in smart home/building applications? We build open-source smart switches/outlets/modules (https://crownstone.rocks) and would love to integrate with your product!

Let's chat, my email is david@got-it.com

Cool product, and terrific thread. I know this is enterprise targeted but if that price point comes down it opens up some interesting consumer possibilities. For instance an Escape Room / ARG where objects can give you clues for the next stage ;)

Could these be used as a general purpose bluetooth beacon in terms of just ranging/detecting? I work on an app that uses beacon detection to indicate when users passed through an area, but most bluetooth beacons are a bit unreliable.

Definitely possible, but it would depend to some degree on the requirements for your system. For now we're focussed on our end to end asset tracking solution for teams.

I work in a large urban hospital. Equipment belongs to a unit (a hospital bed belongs to Unit X and specifically in Room Y). Equipment gets moved around all the time and we often get All Staff emails saying "Has anyone seen equipment X, we are missing it and need it back for a patient."

I think the use case is obvious in hospitals and I know there are other RFID based solutions out there. Perhaps bluetooth might be a better solution as you won't have to install large readers at doorways etc.

Additionally we also have "Code Yellows" daily which means a missing patient (or patient that hasn't returned to unit on time).

Exactly. This is very much an intended application. It’s also perfect for hospitals because of the density of staff with phones and tablets as they walk around. Not having to install readers and gateways, as you mention, is also helpful in reducing barriers to deployment, i.e. by avoiding the network security issues of connecting directly into the network. Re: Code Yellows — Interesting. One thing we’ve been thinking about is putting the labels on to those patient bracelets you get when you’re admitted. They’re almost the exact same size. The app would know where a patient is located in the hospital, as well as what doctors or staff, along with what equipment was also with that patient.

The hospital I work at is currently installing a wander guard system. Due to cost it is only installed on units where patients with dementia etc are admitted. However, patients from any unit can wander (intentional or not). We, unfortunately, have had 2 patients wander off the premises and die in the last few years and therefore have a heightened sense of it's importance.

The tracking of which doctors are with the patient is HUGE. Especially for insurance billing.

Do doctors typically have smartphones on them? I guess that shouldn't be a surprise, but I wouldn't have assumed.

Yes, everyone has a smartphone on them. My healthcare system has policies that say smartphones aren't allowed in patient care areas, but that isn't followed or enforced. Physicians definitely have phone since many use app for clinical care (there are a lot of online risk calculators, reference materials etc).

Nice thing. I like in the description how you use NFC just for association. But when will you add eink and other hardware options?

I use mostly similar hardware made in China. The real added value is eink, so the label is also readable by humans (text) and existing machines (QR). When you have eink prototypes, I may have clients for you.

Also, do you plan to have temperature sensors? It is an easy addition, and opens a large new market.

Another good thing to have can be 433/868/915 Mhz - some companies like to leverage their existing radio, but the protocols can be a pain to deal with.

Cool. Yeah, e-ink and other sensor hardware is something that we’ve been considering down the road. It could be added to our reel-to-reel process. But for the moment, we really want to stay focused and keep the hardware very low cost for asset tracking applications.

Agree, temperature is easy to add. We’re not quite setup for it at the moment, but considering it in the future for the right opportunity.

Funny you should mention 433/868/915 MHz. That’s my background in previous wireless sensor based technology companies. The barrier to entry problem we always ran into was having to install gateways. The approach with Got-it is to leverage the phones already in employees’ pockets, making it really easy to integrate at work.

Besides protocols, hardware for the gateways is another big problem. SDR offers you a few alternative options - especially if you are not scared by coding the whole thing yourself instead of using a stack.

Please announce you future hardware updates here! Temperature or eink (and especially both) would be very interesting to me.

We will. We will also be posting all launch announcements to twitter: @realGot_it

I know this is b2b, but I would love to stick this thing on every single item in my house and track them digitally. Any thoughts on whether that'd be possible, in terms of cost and the tracking algorithm?

Edit: in case it's not obvious, I spend so much time looking for things around the house that I'm willing to pay a significant amount of money to solve this problem. You mentioned the target cost is less than $1. If I have 1000 items that's $1000. Even if that's cost per year, it's not completely out of the question.

It's not really designed for that use and probably wouldn't be that helpful. It's more for finding things in areas larger than houses. e.g. Factories and Warehouse's, knowing where things are on a supply chain e.t.c

$1000/year to track your stuff? That's ridiculous to me, hell $100 is ridiculous to me. Just put stuff where it belongs.

Really cool!

But, a few questions:

- Can a sticker be associated to multiple companies?

- Can you name stickers (either saved to the sticker itself or saved to the app)?

- Additionally, can you save metadata to the sticker (should some one else find this item, they'd know who to return it to)?

- Can the custody of the item be confirmed by a nfc tap?

- How old does the chain of custody keep record of?

On another note, you guys have an ability to create an industry, don't stop here. I will definitely keep an eye on got-it and try to convince my org it's a good investment.

Keep it up!

What is the physical size of the labels? I want to make sure they will fit on smaller parts.

What type of adhesive is used? I wouldn't want it to be too permanent.

Sounds like you are building an asset/inventory tracking system. You might want to think about Equipment Calibration too. I've seen a lot of asset tracking software - most of it cannot keep track of calibration dates, certificates, vendors, etc.

The size of the labels is 28mm x 76mm x 0.5mm. We’d love to get smaller, but at the moment, we’re concentrating on making them thinner. The adhesive is acrylic-based and pretty strong. Some of our initial applications are things like tools and storage containers. Down the road, there might be applications for a more re-stickable variant with an adhesive similar to that used for Post-it notes. Interesting thought regarding equipment calibration labels (i.e. electronic test equipment? scientific or lab equipment?). Maybe even food staples like coffee beans, oils, or longer term perishables like pharmaceuticals even.

Thanks! That is helpful.

Yes, in my case its test equipment (tools, lab equipment, scientific instruments, all of that). I know that tiny torque wrench is in the lab somewhere and I know it needs to be calibrated. Now if I could only find the damn thing...

I want to walk around the lab and get alerts for things that are out of calibration, or will be out of cal within 30 days. Most of our items need calibration every year, a battery in your device that lasts more than a year would be a necessity for me.

Wow this is really cool, good luck to yall. A few years ago at one business the head dev and I brainstormed a solution to some issues we were having, and our result was essentially this without the phones, but no one had really done it yet or at least well. At the time we were leaning towards rfid instead of bluetooth for security reasons, (range sucked though) but the concept is the same.

Cheers, really appreciate the karma!

Is there any way to connect multiple devices to a single label? I've tried things like Tile so my wife can find her car keys, but if the tile is tied to a device that isn't there, we are out of luck. If I tied to my phone, and I'm not home, she can't do anything. If we tied to her phone and she has lost this and her keys, we are out of luck.

Yes. That’s very much how it actually works, except there are no actual Bluetooth connections or pairing formed that directly link a single phone to a label. Instead, multiple devices (the more the better) all listen for beacons from labels that can be shared as a team. In this way, it works really well at companies with lots of employees walking around the office, warehouse, campus, etc., and needing to keep track of shared assets.

Similar to Slack, anyone at an organisation can create a team and invite people. Then, things labeled by a team member are visible to other team members who can see it’s current location, along with who it’s with and where it’s been over time. Note that it works different than Tile. For instance, in that it doesn’t beep when searching for something. Rather, it’s location is shown on a map. The application space is targeted more toward industrial or commercial applications from hospitals to factories, warehouses to laboratories, etc., where sound might not be very helpful.

This is designed for teams from the get go. There is no connecting and everyone can find everything and every smartphone is a listener.

It's not designed as a product for B2C though really. There is no buzzer for the last 10 meter discovery. If that's not an issue then by all means. But we are fully focussed on the B2B use case.

Very cool. For my clarity:

Any pictures demonstrating the flexibilty?

What happens after a year, when the battery dies? Do I have to peel this off all my tools?

Proximity to employee I understand, but how do you get absolute position? Employee phone's GPS?

Have you considered some kind of flexible solar cell? Even indoor fluorescent would probably power the few uW this would sip, quasi-indefinitely.

Any pictures demonstrating the flexibilty?

> Absolutely, hot off the press: https://imgur.com/a/R2vUkVO definitely not losing my wine!

What happens after a year, when the battery dies? Do I have to peel this off all my tools?

> At the moment - yes - although we'll let you know before the label dies. We have an R&D roadmap that will steadily increase battery life but for now we're at a year.

Proximity to employee I understand, but how do you get absolute position? Employee phone's GPS?

> Yes, phone GPS. Indoors you can place labels as positioning labels to provide anchor points, this is mostly targeted at larger deployments.

Have you considered some kind of flexible solar cell? Even indoor fluorescent would probably power the few uW this would sip, quasi-indefinitely.

> I'm going to quietly avoid this questions. But would welcome you to follow our twitter @realGot_it for announcements.

How would this solution work in the scenario of a delivery service (ie pickup/dropoff), can you get detailed metadata?

Simply put, yes, the app is currently setup to show a chain of custody over time, which may mean providing the metadata you mention. Specifically, the app currently shows who had a specific delivery at what time, and where, shown chronologically.

But this is also an example by which we’re building a platform for other more sophisticated tracking that could extend beyond just one carrier. For just in time supply chains, Got-it labels could enable automatic updates as deliveries go from one carrier to the next. The carriers themselves don’t need a specific scanning tool for barcodes or RFIDs. It’s all automatic. On the receiving side, when packages arrive on receiving docks, or even on a construction site, we can automatically signal into systems or directly to people that are awaiting the delivery.

Awesome product! As someone who often loses things or has trouble keeping track of things, this would be super useful for me and better than Tile as it's adhesive based. I understand your current business model is B2B but are you thinking of introducing a B2C aspect of your business to allow individuals to buy?

Our focus at the moment is B2B. I'd love for that to change at some point but right now it's not on the roadmap.

Will you be getting an Android app any time soon?

Also, without making any changes to the product you could easily put together a consumer page and sell them. Maybe provide different colours... I know so many people who would love these in their personal lives

We are targeting Android end of Q1 next year.

To some extent I'd agree with you and eventually I'd love for this to become a consumer product. Here are some of the reasons we haven't taken that approach though.

- We have relatively limited resource. We would have to be choosing between features targeted at consumers and features targeted at factories tracking 1000's of tools.

- We currently can track things to within about 10m. That's about the size of a house. In a factory 400m by 350m on the other hand it's a massive help - people actually spend hours looking for things. Products like Tile solve that problem with a buzzer - our form factor and price point make that very difficult. Sounds also don't work in a noisy factory environment - you usually can't hear the phone in your pocket.

I would absolutely love using this to track the shared tools at my place of work - we have had constant problems with people using them and forgetting they had them in their possession. I was about to order a 10-pack to try out until I noticed Android support is not here yet - nearly our entire team uses Android, I can only think of one person (of about 25) who has an iPhone. This is true for most people in my field that I'm aware of - iPhones are relatively rare for whatever reason.

We have job sites within a few hundred mile radius and around ten trucks - just seeing the last known location of the tags would be a massive help determining who has the tool. It's far better than our current group text "Who has X?" method.

And yes, we've tried a sign in/out logbook for the tools but it never caught on. I like that apparently as long as you have the app for Got-it installed the tools should be tracked.

Milwaukee has a very similar product (their TICK trackers) that use Bluetooth, but are in a ruggedized plastic enclosure that's great for tracking larger items but falls short on smaller tools. It also doesn't help that their app is incredibly fickle and can be difficult to use.

Once the Android app comes out, I can see us easily ordering 100 labels to track all our (expensive, small, easily misplace-able) tools.

Hey, happy for you to ping me at david@got-it.com and we'll be in touch end of q1 next year when Android is released.

I wonder if some sort of E-ink approach would work

This is really cool. Do you guys have an API (or do you plan on having one eventually)?

Just some feedback on your landing page... I think you could do a LOT better in showing that this is an actual hardware product that tracks "things."

Perhaps show a 1,2,3 step process.

1: Place tracker on your things 2: Track using our software 3: Find in seconds

Thanks for the feedback, I kinda agree, at any rate it's on the backlog for internal discussion at our next product meeting.

Spot on. We'll be iterating.

From the privacy policy https://www.got-it.com/privacy-policy

"If you tell us where you are (e.g., by allowing your mobile device to send us your location), we may store and use that information to provide you with location-based information and advertising. If you want to deactivate this feature, you can either reinstall the App(s) or deactivate Bluetooth on your mobile device."

Do you plan to advertise to users based on location? Is this an important part of your monetization plan?

To be honest we've never even had a conversation around advertising - so the answer would be no. It's not really something we'd associate with B2B applications.

Our monetisation plan is simple. We plan to sell what we are calling "market vertical" applications on top of our core platform.

The app in the app store which is great for small teams and pilots.

When you move to large scale deployments for a particular use case e.g. tracking inventory across 10,000's of stores the software needs to look very different. You need reporting, alerts, business rules, access control levels e.t.c Here we plan on selling labels as close to cost as we can and monetise the Enterprise software on a subscription basis.

Wow this looks very cool!

Silly question you mention lithium battery technology, I assume currently they're not re-chargeable lithium? But could you possibly make the label re-chargeable with a coil + lithium ion chemistry?

Thanks. Correct, it’s not rechargeable. Rather, primary (non-re-chargeable) lithium-based electrochemistry in very tiny amounts on thin films. We do have some energy harvesting stuff up our sleeves here too, but that’s down the road a bit.

Just ordered a set. I've been hearing about this from Brian for years now and am so excited it's finally live and available for purchase. About to tell all my midwest manufacturing friends...

Very cool! I wonder if it would be possible to make these work with the Helium network (https://www.helium.com/).

Maybe, not something we've looked into. Feel free to drop me your email (we have chat on www.got-it.com) and I can get back to you in slower time when we've had time to investigate.

If I had a dollar for every time I crawled around a warehouse store room counting boxed of crap that hadn't moved in ages...I would have more than enough to invest in this product ;)

These could work super well for large camera rental houses that are constantly checking gear in and out. Lots of little parts to check in after a rental. This could save a ton of time.

This is brilliant and I can see so many use-cases for this in particular across manufacturing, travel, transport and logistics in heavy asset maintenance organisations - very many organisations pay over the odds for such sensors that don't give this level of flexibility, cost and scale. Unsure if the product has a hardware platform interface for direct integration, however that would be great to plug into existing asset management systems.

Have you given any thought to encryption over bluetooth?

I'm thinking specifically about the DOD/ITAR material traceability market. They would eat this product up at $1 per label.

We’ve heard from those in the military about scenarios where the whole site or compound goes into lock-down if one little piece of equipment goes missing. Putting labels on everything even remotely sensitive could be doable with a simple label. We’ve been thinking about how to enable really strong low level encryption without burdening the overall cost. Agree, that’s important for these kind of applications.

How does it work if you have 100s of them in a close range such as tracking inventory? Also will you be able to print anything on the labels?

Hey David here from Got-it. We've tested about 1500 in super close proximity (all in the same box) and that works well.

Three further points here:

1) We don't rely on forming Bluetooth connections (which require handshake signals every 20ms) which allows us to have significantly more BLE devices than some other solutions.

2) Only a small percentage of radio events need to be picked up for the solution to work.

3) The offering is a B2B one where typically there are multiple people at work all with smartphones that are able to pick up the signals. This further increases the probabilistic chance of picking up multiple labels.

Our labels are printable (check out the image link to see what that looks like). No promises but the next generation should come portfolio stacked and ready to be fed into a thermal label printer.

I have a site that could use help tracking items, but it would be strange to have users download another app. Is an API in the works?

Hey David from Got-it here. Honestly not at the moment, it's something we are considering but first we'd need to see the demand and what it would mean in terms of shifting focus. Happy to talk through your use case - ping me at david@got-it.com

I can think of several different ways our product in the agriculture sector could use these. We would also need an API for it to be useful. Do you have plans for an Android app as well or is it going to be iOS only?

We absolutely have plans for an Android app, we started with iOS because it's the more restrictive of the two platforms with regards to BLE in the background. We don't have a firm date for Android yet but it's most likely end of Q1 next year.

Maybe a simple solution while the API is being developed would just be to make the end points (transmissions) from the labels known.

It's possible, theoretically we already have an api and a mobile SDK.

The question for us would be around support, SLA's e.t.c our capacity as a team and what we would have to drop in order to be able to do that.

Is this iBeacon advertisements? Some other custom BLE header? I already ordered a kit :) This is truly amazing. Fantastic job.

Cheers. Yup, iBeacon albeit with some minor modifications.

Would these survive being in my washing machine? I'm desperate to find out where all my socks are going off to.

What kind of background do you need to understand a decent amount of this tech? I basically only understand software and there seem to be many different areas advanced in this product.

Maybe the kind of answer I'm looking for is: are there any documented DIY projects that touch some of the tech used here?

Does it give a warning before the battery dies or is the idea to just replace after about 1 year?

Right now we get battery updates fed back into the system. We don't do much with the information at the moment (other than store it) but alerts when batteries are low is definitely on the roadmap and we will have alerts before there is any chance of this first crop of labels dying.

This is so cool! Congratulations!!!

For durable items will the battery be rechargeable somehow?

Thanks. At the moment, unfortunately it's not rechargeable. We've reduced the bill of materials count to almost nothing. It's just a few parts, mainly adhesive tape and aluminium foil, so it's meant to be used more like an RFID label that works without scanning. That said, we do have some R&D going to implement an energy harvesting method that could extend the life for several years (that's actually how David and I met years ago, in roughly that technology space).

Very cool! I'll bet we could use this to make it really easy to document any unique issues that come up while assembling iterations of our satellites.

Awesome idea, would be great to talk to you and see how we might be able to help you. My email is david@got-it.com

Does each phone have to be paired with each tracked item?

Not paired via a BLE connection, but associated with the Got-it app by tapping an integrated NFC on the same label substrate. It’s a non-connectable beacon. This way, all the phones that are associated as part of a team can listen for all the items that other team members may have added as well.

Wow, I'll be keeping my eye on this. Sounds terrific for our small construction business tracking equipment across multiple sites.

Congrats on the launch, this looks awesome!

I love everything about this, but the landing page hurt my eyes — perhaps make it a bit less bright?

lasts over a year

I'm guessing this depends on how often the device broadcasts?

Needs Android. Desperately.

Not the OP, but my company also makes something similar for pets. The problem with Android is that Google severely crippled BLE to a point where you can only perform a single BLE scan every 15 minutes when the app is in the background. The only other option is enabling a foreground service to always run, which really ruins Android battery life.

Yes - Agreed! We're targeting end of Q1 next year.

Are these tags FCC ID authorized (for sale in the US)?

very interesting and cool technology. Will there be an SDK for developing in-house apps?

Well done guys. This is so cool.

Huh. Looks like the certificate for got-it.com is hosed?

Maybe it was signed by a CA that is not in the standard list accepted by Firefox 71?

Also not liked by Brave Version 1.1.21 Chromium: 79.0.3945.79 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Hmmm, we're using a Let's Encrypt Cert which is coming up as valid on Chrome, Firefox 71.0 and Safari for us. We have seen problems with OpenDNS - any chance you using that?

I'm not using OpenDNS myself, but it does appear that the local nameservers are. Sigh....

At least some of the queries for this domain name are coming back pointed to (, which seems to be okay on the SSL certificate (see https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=got-it.com ) even though they offer TLS 1.1 in addition to TLS 1.2.

However, other DNS queries get pointed to (hit-adult.opendns.com), and according to testssl.sh offers only TLS 1.2, but doesn't have server cipher order, and has an incomplete chain of trust.

The latter IP address also seems to be vulnerable to Secure Client-Initiated Renegotiation, and BEAST (CVE-2011-3389), and maybe LUCKY13 (CVE-2013-0169).

Thanks very much for bringing this up and looking into it for us. We're on it now!

I've manually flushed open dns and dig is now only reporting any chance it's now working for you?

Nope. Still borked on OpenDNS.

Looks like it's been content blocked with Open DNS on their family friendly DNS servers. I've submitted a request for it to be categorised. Previous experience is that this takes a few days.

Cries... I'll dig deeper into this tomorrow. Cheers for sharing.

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