Advances in electronics combined with our finely tuned ability to lose stuff has seen the market for wireless tracking sensor systems expand rapidly in recent times. This latest example is Lupo, a versatile item finder that's also a security solution and a Bluetooth remote controller for smartphones and other devices.
The Lupo app can be used to set alerts that let users know when a tagged object goes out of a user-set range, therefore preventing potential theft. It sends audio alarms or messages when the object is left behind or moved by another person. Another security feature is that it can automatically lock computers when the user moves away from it.
If lost, the item can be tracked by the app which records the last known position of the object gone astray and displays it on a map. Like Tile, it can also use a crowd-sourced approach to do the search with the help of other Lupos.
Another highlighted feature is that the device can be used to as a remote control for presentations or triggering your phone's camera. The creators plan to ship the device with these controls, which work via the integrated button as well as gesture control.
The Lupo team also promises long battery life thanks to a smart power management module that helps keep the standard coin cell battery going for about a year. The unit itself is designed to resist the wear and tear of daily life, including a 3-4 foot drop onto a hard floor according to the team. A bit of water splashed on it shouldn't do any warm, but you can't go swimming with it.
Lupo uses Bluetooth 4.0 wireless standard and works with smartphones, tablets and desktop apps. It is also compatible with iOS, Android as well as laptops and desktop PCs.
Lupo’s SDK was released in the summer and a range of apps have been created since then. The Lupo team says there’s scope for apps that turn Lupo into a remote controller for music, a joystick for mobile gaming and for use in venues and events where apps could display custom messages on smartphones that come within range of a strategically positioned Lupo.
The team is fundraising on Kickstarter and is more than half way to its £20,000 goal with three weeks remaining. An early bird pledge for one Lupo costs £18 (US$29) with delivery estimated for June 2014 if all goes to plan. The projected retail price is £40.
The Lupo promo video can be viewed below.