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StickNFind – Bluetooth Powered ultra small Location Stickers (indiegogo.com)
62 points by MaxGfeller 1606 days ago | hide | past | web | 30 comments | favorite

I sometimes wonder why a big company that has been doing this for years needs to use something like indiegogo to get customers to pay up front for a product that isn't in manufacturing yet.

Also. I think it's a really cool idea and I want one. I would use one to secure a suitcase on a bus from getting nicked when they stop to let someone off.

You could prototype a variety of product ideas and let the customers guide you on what to work on, instead of committing to an idea right away that might not get any traction once it is released.

Isn't that what focus groups are for?

Getting someone to commit cash is better than someone only saying they like a product.

Pretty cool.

I missed details on how the pairing works, for privacy reasons it seems desirable that the tags are locked to (preferably a set of) cell phones.

Some more information about the battery would be nice too, what counts as "usage" for the tag exactly, and do they expose any idea of the battery's state? It would be nice to know that a tag is nearing it's projected end-of-battery, I guess.

Also didn't much enjoy the example with tagging the wife's car. Bleh.

My first thought was, "I'd plant one in my boss's shoe, so I'd always know when he was on his way over," and realize that that's probably just about as weird and distrust-based as the wife example.

Well at least the wife example quickly shows how this will escalate.

I have always wanted a 'google' for your house to find things. Search: "ruby on rails book" would return: "Bedroom 1 North Corner." Search: "keys" would return: "Laundry Shelf". Also: "wallet" would return "John's Lounge room, click to see directions"

These are one step closer.

Triangulation should be possible with 3 or more Bluetooth sensors. Would be a nice project to re-purpose old Android phones for.

Triangulation should be possible by combining the bluetooth with gps or the accelerometer.

I always found the thought, that I can find something more easily on the internet, than in my drawers quite amusing.

Love this idea, but as I understand it, their iOS app will be rejected unless they go through the MFi Program licensing process. Apple doesn't allow open access to the Bluetooth stack for anything besides audio hardware. Hope they have someone taking care of that, I don't see any mention of it in their sales pitch.

Also, I really hope some of that money goes towards hiring a designer to polish their apps and branding. They certainly have the tech side covered, but style goes a long way. See: Nest.

That's one of the coolest "features" of Bluetooth LE: Apple has decided that the risks to battery life and overall system integrity are low enough with BLE that they've left it quite wide open from an app-developer perspective. There's even an officially-supported background mode.

It remains to be seen exactly how far they are willing to go with unregistered protocols and custom hardware, but this type of "electronic leash" is an officially blessed protocol, so there should be no issues with their app.

Oh wow! I stand corrected, very useful to know. Looks like these folks are even smarter than I thought.

Still hope they tune up the design, though. Even beyond aesthetics, the usability leaves a lot to be desired.

FYI, if anybody from IndieGoGo reads comments here, with IE10 on first page load it says I'm using IE6 and the browser is not supported. Refreshing clears this message.

Regarding: 1:25...

They should be able to use the gyro/accelerometer to give their radar 'direction' as well no? You would just need to move around slightly for it to combine the data with the BT signal distance.

Guess it depends on the BT distance resolution.

You could do this with multiple devices at known locations. E.g. if you always keep your (latest-generation) Mac mini in the office, and your MacBook Air in the kitchen, and have programmed them as such, they could communicate with the app and give you a rough location for any tag.

Which would actually be a pretty cool project for someone: create a system for triangulating the approximate location of stuff in your house with strategically-placed fixed Bluetooth LE devices ("stuff" in the degenerate case meaning powered-up BLE hardware like an iPhone, or with these sorts of tags, things like keys and pets). Sort of like this project but wit less of the "getting warmer…getting colder" hide-and-seek aspect.

Unfortunately a gyro and accelerometer would only be able to provide the orientation of the device, not its location relative to the phone.

Yeah, but the gyro/accelerometer could provide short movement measurements, no? IF you combine that with the distance measurement you get from the BT device, you should be able to figure out the direction to the BT device?

For simple dead reckoning you'd need to add a magnetometer into the mix as well, otherwise there's no way to know which direction the sensors are facing relative to anything else.

This would at least give you a compass heading that you could use when integrating the accelerometer data to give some kind of course over time.

It'd be pretty unreliable though and add a lot of cost.

Still not sure why any of this would add cost. it all happens on the iphone which already has these sensors. If you can tell in which direction the iphone is moving thanks to gyro/magno/accelo AND you have a distance from BT device of reasonable resolution, you should be able to figure out the location of the device you are tracking with small movements of the iphone.

I'm not great at geometry but I figure it should be possible. Not sure about accuracy though.

I was talking about adding the sensors to the bluetooth sticker device, that's why it'd add cost.

The sensors in your phone won't help to work out where the sticker is. The bluetooth receiver in it is built to detect signals from any direction, so even if you rotate your phone, that doesn't help to work out which direction the signals are arriving from.

Don't think you are understanding what I am suggesting.

If you know the movement of the phone, you can determine which direction of movement causes the largest increase in signal strength change. So the app would be basically doing what you do to find something (let me move this way, oh I'm colder, I should go the other way) but at a higher spatial and temporal resolution.

Since each sticker is a transmitter and a receiver, isn't it possible to mount 3 stickers with known places around your house like GPS sattelites, which will calculate the cat's sticker (for example) distance from each of them and tell the exact location?

Getting an exact location would be very tricky as the received signal strength can be affected by so many things (Thick walls, reflections, interference...).

I'd imagine you could get a rough location, but you'd need to go through some kind of calibration process first that involved going into different rooms/zones and telling the software where you were.

You might need extra reference sensors too. Ones that are in known locations that the system can use to scale the signal strength readings. That might help to combat some of the issues I mentioned above.

There's a lot of cool stuff going on with bluetooth-le. I can see these having other uses besides just finding your stuff. You could use a bunch of these as a primitive location service inside a building.

They're still a bit expensive, but I'm hoping the price will approach $1 each in a couple years.

I wonder if they used Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter because of the new rules that you can't tell people they are pre-ordering for something that doesn't exist yet?

Could this be done with RFID tags?

they would have to be active rfid tags. i've been using some active tags from http://goo.gl/DkZkB for vehicle home/away detection for the past 5 years. they aren't quarter sized, but they're in the glove box out of sight. they work well.

i'm also using a network of hacked seagate dockstars w/ bluetooth usb dongles hidden around the house to detect which part of the house our cellphones are in.

i'm already plotting what i can use these stickers for :)

I'm sure it could in some form but I think the goal was for cell phone integration.

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