Are you one of those folks who always seems to lose your keys, cell phone or TV remote control? Well, don’t sweat. Here comes the PebbleBee.
Developed by Boeing software engineers Daniel Daoura and Nick Pearson-Franks, the PebbleBee is a tiny Bluetooth-enabled device that affixes to various personal items, notifying users if they happen to wander outside a specified range and assisting in the location of the lost items.
You can imagine the water-resistant PebbleBee attached to just about anything valuable — from kids’ backpacks to laptops to bikes.
The upstart — which describes itself as the “most affordable, secure and feature rich bluetooth personal motion tracking device tag” — has already found a core following on Kickstarter. The PebbleBee has blown past its $20,000 goal, pulling in more than $145,000 in funding from 2,100 backers.
Key to the PebbleBee is what the entrepreneurs call the “Range Finder” — an alert system that communicates with your iPhone or Android device (Windows Phone is coming) to notify you if the item has crossed over the 150-foot range. If an item is lost, users of the free PebbleBee app will be able to measure how close they are to the missing item using a signal bar or ring.
“You can command the PebbleBee to buzz or ring to assist in finding what you are looking for. In sensitive situations, you can command the PebbleBee to spark, which will flash internal LEDs to aid in finding your item,” explains Daoura in the Kickstarter video.
They are also working on what they call a Hornet motion detection system, which utilizes a 9-axis gyroscope and thermometer sensors to detect movement, direction and speed.
“You can configure defined alerts that let you know if the temperature is dropping outside to bring your plants in, where your cat has traveled at night, if your jogging speed drops below your threshold and more,” they write. “The data can be viewed live and/or saved to a file for replay. Track your awesome moments on the ski slopes, or put the PebbleBee on a door to know when it is being opened.”
And just how did they come up with this idea? Of course, it was Pearson-Frank’s persistent toddler, who continued to hide items throughout the house.
Here’s a look at the Kickstarter video for the PebbleBee.
Should you lose your item at the airport? No problem, with the PebbleBee network an alert will sent to all PebbleBee users who can assist in locating the item for you. You can also integrate your swarm of PebbleBees and Bluetooth devices. Registered in the hive you can securely access your phone or PC anywhere in the world. The Hive software will be compatible with other Smart Router hubs.
Scheduled to be available in May!
-5 mm thick and 40 mm diameter.
-The PebbleBee battery lasts 3 years depending on usage – and can be replaced.
-PebbleBee works on Android 4.3 Bluetooth 4 equipped phones/tablets and Apple Bluetooth 4
compatible iPhones and iPads. Coming soon for Windows 8 Computers and Phones.
-PebbleBee can be commanded by the app to buzz or light up.
-PebbleBee button can be used to command numerous triggers on your phone, such as ring, or call your favorite contact.
-PebbleBee devices provide a range finder so you can view how far you are from your belongings.
-PebbleBee devices can be put in alert mode, so when your assigned PebbleBee leaves a configurable
range the user is alerted. The alert can also be paired to a location.
-PebbleBees can be located based on last known position detected by the entire PebbleBee network.
Location can be displayed on Google Maps for user to navigate.
-PebbleBees can be designated as lost. Owner will be alerted when it becomes actively detected on the
PebbleBee network by PebbleBee users and designated Friends.
-PebbleBees can be shared by owners to multiple other PebbleBee users who get select abilities.
-PebbleBee Friends can be designated to easily discover which of your friends is closest to your lost
-A PebbleBee application user can easily view status and manage dozens of owned and shared PebbleBee
-From an application on any platform, a PebbleBee user can logon to cloud sync their account PebbleBee
devices for use on multiple handheld devices. Once a PebbleBee is configured, the App doesn’t require
the PebbleBee cloud.
-PebbleBee devices can be designated by name and picture.
-Ability to operate in private mode to preserve battery life, and increase wireless performance
-The PebbleBee communicates with Bluetooth 4.0 enabling a range of 50-150ft and low power usage
-The PebbleBee devices are water resistant.
-Connect a key ring or Stick the adhesive backed PebbleBee to anything and everything! It’s the perfect accessory and utility to find or avoid any keys, bag, remote, car, dog, cat, child anything!
-Hornet Version: Includes a 9-axis (3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnometer or compass) chip and a temperature sensor with developer API to interface/control the PebbleBee’s 9-Axis data stream. Includes functions to enable/disable 9-axis chip and enable callbacks for motion data. Provide real time motion data over Bluetooth. Ability to control when and how (at different sampling rates) you receive data and users can follow easy to use, drag and drop action and trigger commands on the PebbleBee app to create PebbleBee scenarios. I.e. if user pins a PebbleBee on their front door, and door moves, even very slight movement will trigger a compass direction change, which will send a stream of data to your paired phone which will then trigger your defined actions such as sound phone alarm, or email your security company, etc. You get lost hiking in the woods and your cell phone no longer works? No problem because your PebbleBee on your keychain recorded your whole path back, and can actually help you navigate back. The 9-axis gyro can be used to collect endless high resolution motion data on your skateboarding/biking/skiing/
-Bumble Version: The PebbleBee can be wirelessly charged by placing it on a wireless charger for battery life longevity. This version includes an induction coil and a lithium ion battery at 150mAH and increase the thickness to 6 mm.
-PebbleBee Hive (hub): For home security or for networking PebbleBees across the world, use the PebbleBee Hive. It’s a hub that wirelessly connects all your PebbleBees at home, in the office or out in the field outdoors. The Hive seamlessly coordinates with the cloud over WIFI to notify the PebbleBee application user of notable events. You no longer need your phone to be in range of your PebbleBees for complete control! You can apply all your PebbleBees around your home and be notified of every movement in your home with emails, and notifications on your phone wherever you are. Actions, triggers and motion control can be monitored for multiple PebbleBee contributors across the world. PebbleBees can be shared and controlled anywhere the internet is available. You can play drinking games with your buddies across the globe with the PebbleBee attached to their beer mugs and know exactly when, and how far ahead you are by streaming live data through the PebbleBee hive.
Thank you for your consideration. Please let me know if you have any images, infograph, questions or would like to interview the two engineers who have created the PebbleBee!