Technophile: Electronic leash for your gadgets

Curt Brandao reviews some tiny devices that can remind you where you put all your other tiny devices.

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Zomm Wireless Leash

What it does While there are many software solutions that can help you track down your lost smartphone anywhere on the planet long after it was abandoned, handy hardware devices like the Zomm Wireless Leash can alert you immediately in those vital first moments when it's still only a few dozen feet away.

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How it does it About the size of a commemorative coin, the Zomm Wireless Leash fits on a keychain, connects to your phone via Bluetooth and is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery. It will vibrate, flash and sound an alarm anytime it's more than 10 metres away from your precious gadget. It also doubles as a speakerphone, and when pressed for a long time, it emits a panic alarm, and eventually dials whatever emergency contact you programme into it.

Who's it for Forgetful people who break out into a rash anytime they are more than a few feet away from their smartphones. While great in emergencies, the hands-free speakerphone functionality also makes it a useful day-to-day device.


Cobra Tag

What it does The Cobra tag offers functionality similar to the Zomm's, minus the speakerphone. However, it can be programmed to shut down your device once it's out of range, thus securing your data should some curious stranger happen upon your smartphone. It can also connect to Twitter and send out e-mails with maps to those who might help you locate your missing device.

How it does it The Bluetooth-enabled Cobra Tag requires software to be downloaded on your device. However, this allows both the tag and your smartphone to whine whenever they're separated. It's also powered by a rechargeable lithium battery.

Who's it for It's great for those who are just as likely to forget their keys as they are their smartphone, and have a large group of friends who are more than willing to help them crowd-source a solution to their smartphone emergency.


Click 'n Dig! Key Finder

What it does Click 'n Dig! Key Finder offers a comprehensive, if comparatively low-tech solution for chronic forgetters. The set of five small devices allows you to keep track of all the things you lose the most often, whatever they may be (keys, phones, remotes, pets, etc).

How it does it The four radio-frequency receivers (two can serve as key rings, the other two can be affixed to anything by adhesive) connect to a transmitter that has a colour-coded button corresponding to each receiver. Did you lose your remote control? If it's got the blue receiver stuck on it, punch the blue button and the beeps will lead the way.

Who's it for While a bit cumbersome for smartphone purposes, the Click 'n Dig! system is ideal for frenetic households that have a hard time corralling all their precious things on a daily basis - just don't lose the transmitter.