This Lost & Found Device Makes Finding Your Items—And Catching A Thief—Simple
Innova Technology may just have the most comprehensive lost and found device to hit the market. The ProTag Elite is a card-looking black device with roughly the thickness and size of a passport and its premise is simple: the ProTag synchronizes with iPhone or Android devices to keep track of your items. Whatever item you want to keep track of, just slip the ProTag in it (such as a purse, briefcase, wallet, binder, or luggage) and go about your business.
Once you walk away from the item that is paired with the ProTag, your phone alerts you. If you happened to missed that alert, the app records the last GPS location it was left at and allows you to retrace your steps to retrieve it.
Have you ever lost that important document that is required by your boss of Friday?” says CEO of Innova, Rick Tan in his Indiegogo campaign video. “Well, I remember those days. Not anymore.”
The ProTag Elite is the 2nd generation ProTag and is equipped with increased tracking range (30m from 10m), enhanced battery life (1 year compared to 1 week) and crowd tracking.
But what if you lose your phone, the very item that alerts you of other potential losses? Well, that’s covered too. ProTag’s online system keeps track of your mobile device(s), and even allows you to wipe content, backup data, and lock your phone via the online portal. And that’s not the best part. It will also take pictures of whoever has your phone and make them viewable to you online.
Tan decided to go with Indiegogo, as opposed its wildly popular adversary, Kickstarter, despite the fact that the bulk of ProTag’s traffic still comes from other marketing efforts.
Our marketing saw there was a slight difference in the demographics of each site,” said Rick Tan, Innova’s CEO. “But it doesn’t really matter which site a campaigner uses.”
But it probably does, considering the vast differences between the two. In a recent TechCrunch article, Jonathan Lau and Edward Junprung found that Indiegogo raised around $98 million total with its campaigns, compared to Kickstarter’s $612 million (despite Indiegogo breaking into the crowdfunding scene first). In addition, Kickstarter’s success rate is 44 percent , while Indiegogo’s is 34 percent, not taking into account the campaigns that are delisted if they don’t raise at least $500. And while Kickstarter has had 40 campaigns cross the million-dollar threshold, Indiegogo has had only 3.
But there are wins and losses for both. For one thing, Indiegogo has flexible funding, allowing campaigners to keep the funds raises, even if they did not raise their entire goal. With just a few days left to raise a goal of $100,000, it’s a rush to the finish line. Currently, the company has only managed to rack up a little less than $40,000.
With the funds, Tan says he’ll be able to keep manufacturing costs low by requesting a larger manufacturing order.
Still, there are other devices like the ProTag out there. The BiKN is lost-and-found device (with colorful options) that allows your phone to track your things, as well as your iPhone. The device is like a keychain and loops onto items you want to track and the accompanying smart case doubles as a GPS, so that you can track that, too— even if the device is off.
Though the device is physically appealing, its user interface seems more complicated than ProTag’s, with a setup that involves poking a hole in the device with a small item from your home, such as a paper clip or pin—not to mention a price point of $130. The Stick-N-Find, an Indiegogo alum product, is much less obtrusive and involves simply sticking a quarter-sized sticker on the item you want to track. Two stickers cost $50.
But what really sets ProTag apart from its competitors is its crowd tracking feature.
We have built a network of users who will create an extensive scanning coverage for lost items,” says Tan. “Ultimately, we pride ourselves in being able to secure both physical belongings and digital data in mobile phone.”
So what happens if your item is no longer there when you go to retrieve it? If, for example, a thief took out the money in your lost wallet and stashed the wallet elsewhere, anyone with a ProTag system that comes within reach of it will help the device obtain an new GPS location, which then alerts the person who lost it of its updated position. And if the new GPS location is too far, you can directly contact the closest ProTag user and request help in getting it back.
The ProTag gets an A for usability. Its interface is extremely easy to use and understand, with surprisingly simple instructions for such a high-tech device. It almost makes losing your items, well, fun.
With the campaign closing right around the corner, Tan and the team at Innova have high hopes for what it will bring. They’re already in the works with distributors worldwide, and will continue promoting ProTag by leveraging social media efforts, including some interesting giveaways planned for their Facebook page.
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