If you’re familiar with Bluetooth finder fobs, and XY’s offerings in particular, this is a significantly better one with twice the range, 4x the volume, and a replaceable battery life that’s 5x greater than the previous incarnations (up to a five year battery life, depending on several factors.) You can stop reading.
If you’re not particularly familiar with how these things work, XY provides you with an app and a bluetooth beacon finder fob that can fit on a keychain, kid’s backpack, dog collar, that really expensive coat that your kid keeps leaving in the other classroom, etc.
As your phone passively encounters these bluetooth beacons in makes a note of where it encountered them and sends it to a server.
All your beacons and anything else in the beacon family will get shot to XY along with GPS coordinates. You run across someone’s teddy bear who has an XY and that beacon will be shot to the servers and the owner of that will be able to locate it and say “see, I told you Teacher X keeps taking the stuff.”
Keep in mind, only the fob’s owner can look it up. Similarly, you lose your stuff and an XY app passes something you’ve got a beacon on and it’ll lead you into the right general area.
While knowing that your item is within 10-70 meters may sound cool, that’s still a lot of ground to cover, especially if you’re combing school classrooms looking for your kid’s stuff.
These finders also have a fairly loud speaker. It’s not going to be louder than a room full of screaming kindergarteners and the random announcement that keeps droning on, but if you get near it you’ll be able to hear it. Moreso now than with previous versions of the finders.
Walking out the door and can’t find your phone? Press the XY finder fob button and your phone will call out if it’s within range and charged.
The crowdsourced data set means that even if your phone was dead when you lost your item, as long as someone with the app passes it it’ll eventually show up unless it’s been crushed, disabled, thrown away, etc.
One thing to note with these finder apps is if you’re on Android you need to make sure your battery manager doesn’t close them down or you won’t be tracking things. You also won’t be able to wake the phone with a button press. Reading some reviews of these things it looks like that’s a big issue with some brands of phones. Test it out before you trust it. Return it if it doesn’t work (they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee).
Keep in mind that if there are no phones around the finder, it’s not going to get found. Also if the finder is moving, it’s going to report the wrong location. Not really suitable for tagging your kid or an animal, however great for tagging your kid’s backpack and that expensive collar your cat keeps getting out of.
You can grab the XY4+ at Amazon for between 18.75 & $35 depending on how many you buy. You can also grab them from the XY website that currently has a 20% off code USEXYFIND20 (but it appears shipping will eat into that a bit. Looks like you can save some on a larger order though.)