"O! It's going to rain later so take your umbrella before you leave."
It’s raining and you’ve forgotten your umbrella. You’ve left home without your bank cards. You’ve arrived at work with your laptop but no charger. Sound familiar? There are a bunch of tech solutions to these problems in the form of GPS trackers that let you know where your lost items are. You attach them to things that matter, and you can see where they are using a smartphone app. There are a lot of these trackers and they all do pretty much the same thing. THE O is a little different because it doesn’t find your lost items; it stops you from leaving them behind in the first place and it’s intelligent about it.
THE O gets its name from the octopus, for its ability to cling to objects and blend into the environment. The trackers themselves are thin and have grooves that allow you to easily sew them into things, which is a great solution for bags and coats. They can put in a stylish pendant that looks slightly more like jewellery than a gadget. We wouldn’t recommend sticking them on your ears but they look good on a keychain. When you’re at home, the app can use GPS or your Wi-Fi to ignore all the connections. But leave the house without your bag and you’ll get a notification on your phone saying it’s still inside.
What sets this tracker apart from others is the focus on avoiding forgetting your stuff in the first place rather than just being able to find them when they’re lost. You stick the trackers on your keys, umbrella, bag, coat etc and the smartphone app keeps an eye on them. This is where the app’s intelligence comes in. For things you want on you at all times (e.g. wallet), you’ll receive a notification on your phone saying you’ve left it in the house when you leave. So you can step back inside to grab it. But your umbrella? You’ll only get a notification for that if the forecast is rain. The app is smart about what you need at any given time and can be customised.
Last year the creators successfully raised funds on Kickstarter to manufacture THE O. Now you can pick it up at the official site. There are a host of options for colour and accessories. The trackers come as packs of 4. There’s the tukano set of brightly-coloured trackers and the aerolito set of more subdued shades of greys. These sets are $79 (£53.96) plus shipping at $5 (£3.42). The pendant-like accessories range from $9 (£6.15) for a simpler rubber one up to $29 (£19.81) and $49 (£33.47) for the more stylish designs that would look better on coats and bags. There are also several starter kits with special offers so you can get a combination of the trackers and accessories while saving about £25-45.
We like this proactive approach. It’s always better to quickly go back for your stuff rather than finding someone has pinched it and is now travelling around the country. Just don’t lose your smartphone.
Main image: THE O