Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

The Gadget Hound locates the items you always lose

By

November 6, 2012

The Gadget Hound follows the 'scent' to your lost belongings

The Gadget Hound follows the 'scent' to your lost belongings

There's nothing more frustrating than losing a pair of keys when you're on the way out the door ... except maybe losing your cell phone in that same scenario. Or your wallet. Or sunglasses. Fact is, there are a lot of small, easy-to-lose items that are essential for daily living. So why not keep track of them with an electronic bloodhound, that stays on the scent 24/7? That's the idea behind the Gadget Hound.

Like any good Labrador retriever, my best buddy Duncan has a powerful sense of smell that doesn't take time off. So when I lost my keys in a snowy parking lot, I thought he might be able to home in on my scent and find them for me. Much to my excitement, Duncan began digging furiously within seconds of arriving on the scene. What a smart boy!

Unfortunately, like that of any good Labrador retriever, Duncan’s sense of smell is related directly to snacks, treats, meals and not much else. What he dug up wasn't my keys at all, but an old, tattered ice cream bar wrapper. After wrestling it out of his jowls, I put him back in the house and continued the search on my own.

The moral of that short story is to either train your dog for tracking better than Duncan, or forget about the real dog and get an electronic hound that's not affected by the temptations of the grand buffet wafting into his nostrils every second of every day.

The Gadget Hound is just that electronic hound dog. The system combines a handheld transmitter with a number of small receivers. Attach a receiver to an item that you tend to lose – cell phone, glasses, keys, remote control, etc. – and you can track it down with the transmitter. Each Gadget Hound includes four or six separate receivers, each of which corresponds to a button on the transmitter. Press the appropriate button, and the corresponding receiver delivers a loud beep that guides you to your lost belonging. You could use the Gadget Hound to keep track of up to six items that you're most likely to lose.

The Gadget Hound designers sought to improve, not innovate. There are plenty of other systems that do exactly the same thing, so the designers looked at the shortcomings of those competitors to build something that they feel is superior. In fact, they looked directly at customer feedback on Amazon to identify the problems that most needed solutions. They aimed to build a gear finder with an interface simple enough for users of all types, a versatile form factor good for finding even tiny objects, a robust range and reliable battery life.

Unlike app-based systems like Grok and BiKN, the Gadget Hound works independently of your smartphone, which should appeal to less tech-savvy folks, as well as folks that don't have the required smartphone operating system. It also means you don't need your smartphone to find your smartphone.

The device's creators also sought to build smaller, more versatile hardware than seen on other gear finders. The receiver is smaller than a quarter, which makes it useful for attaching to small, thin things like iPod shuffles and wallets.

The Gadget Hound packs enough range to track down an object at the other side of a 3,000 square-foot (280 sq-m) home. It works through walls, cushions and floors, meaning you should be able to find your item quickly without having to wander around obsessively pushing buttons. The sound was engineered to be audible over that range.

The product will hit the market this winter (Northern Hemisphere). It is currently available for pre-order on fund-raising site Indiegogo. A US$79 pledge gets you a two-button Gadget Hound Mini; a $99 pledge gets you the four-button Gadget Hound; and $129 gets you the six-button Gadget Hound Deluxe. The latter two models will be available when the Gadget Hound hits the market, but the Mini is an Indiegogo special that will not be available for retail sale.

Source: Indiegogo

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
Tags
9 Comments

so what do you do when you can't find the gadget hound?

Adrien
6th November, 2012 @ 01:44 pm PST

You buy two, put a transmitter on the first hound and lock the other one away ofc

Renzo Prellellini
6th November, 2012 @ 03:52 pm PST

I'm trying to imagine wearing a "quarter" on my glasses...just can't see it.

Otherwise very cool.

Joseph Boe
7th November, 2012 @ 07:55 am PST

Dear Adrien:

Losing the transmitter is an issue that we thought about while creating The Gadget Hound. Some existing products have built-in transmitter/receivers, which created a bulky fob-like attachment. In order to have a sleek design, we created a separate transmitter. The separate transmitter is intended to be in a central location, such as attached to a refrigerator (with the magnets on the back), or plugged into a central location in a wall socket. The range is so vast, 3,000sf that we've eliminated the need to carry around the transmitter within your home (therefore greatly reducing the risk of losing the transmitter). I hope this addresses your comment. You can visit our campaign on indiegogo.com and pre-order at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/252615?c=home.

Best wishes,

Carla Miaule - The Gadget Hound

carla@thegadgethound.com
7th November, 2012 @ 08:49 am PST

I thought of this idea about 6 years ago but seriously whos going to buy it? also surely it can be smaller.

super-Dave
7th November, 2012 @ 10:46 am PST

I don't think people would put it on their glasses but maybe the case the glasses sit in. It would also be useful as a keychain and for remotes that seem to find a home between couch cushions, behind/under couches or worse, in the couch.

It would be a good gift idea if nothing else.

Daishi
7th November, 2012 @ 10:01 pm PST

I've wanted one of these for years. Solving the "fob" part was most important. entertainment systems, blu ray player, surround sound, television, satalite channel changer, etc don't need a bulky attachment. Something small and thin that doesn't change the shape when holding it, but will allow it to be rediscovered after the kids/dogs are done with them. Can't wait for this product to hit the market. I expect these guys will be paying lots of taxes.

Jeff Vandervort
8th November, 2012 @ 10:26 am PST

I just spent more than an hour looking for a set of keys, that "I" lost, only to find they were in my wife's coat pocket. I hang my keys up in the same place every time, she will drop them anywhere. This devise could have saved me a long and frustrating hunt, and some harsh words.

kellory
9th November, 2012 @ 08:17 pm PST

I already have one. It's called the Loc8tor Plus, and it works great.

Nice way to re-invent the wheel, guys.

Anne Ominous
10th November, 2012 @ 02:53 am PST
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 29,582 articles
Recent popular articles in Electronics
Product Comparisons