As I get older, I'm starting to recognize and appreciate all those small behavioral quirks my parents exhibited during my childhood (which at the time drove me crazy): "losing" eyeglasses sitting right there upon their head, the continual concerns about whether the door was locked and the stove was turned off, and of course, the regular scavenger hunt for the house keys...
But that was then, this is now. There's no reason to lose your house keys any longer when you've got technology to bolster your/my aging memory. Here are 5 keychain devices for keeping track of exactly where you (mis)placed those keys in and around the house:
Hone started off as a Kickstarter and is now available to use with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad 4 and iPad mini. The Hone keychain works from 150 feet away, casting a notably larger range than most other devices, with a corresponding location app to help hunt down fugitive keys on the hideout. The sleek dongle adds just half an ounce to a keychain, and offers six month battery life using a single CR2032 watch battery. $59.99
Stick-N-Find are the size of a quarter and about the same thickness as a poker chip. And just as the name implies, the stickers adhere onto almost any surface, including onto keys or an existing keychain. Inside, a tiny low energy Bluetooth chip offers tracking via iOS or Android app from up to 100 feet away using (with a cool submarine radar-style interface), including a small light and buzzer to help find missing items, all with an estimated one year battery life. A set of 2 for $49.95.
The Linquet Mini is one of the more affordable options, at just $29.99 (pre-order price), using Bluetooth and cloud storage for tracking and location documentation. Similar to the Stick-N-Find, each unit has a loud alarm and flashing lights feature, with the addition of a built-in temperature sensor and reverse phone finder when the keys are already in hand, but your phone has gone missing.
The Cobra Tag Bluetooth Tag Alarm was awarded a "strong recommend" by one of our team a few years back, citing the Bluetooth keychain fob as a "lifesaver". The Cobra Tag was additionally noted to be very easy to setup and use, with phone or key tracking working well with Android devices (also for Blackberry, but no iOS support). Note, since first reporting, the price has dropped down to a much palatable $37.99 for the key/device tracking system over at Amazon.
BIKN is a little different from the other four options listed above, as the system requires the use of a protective phone case engineered to connect with wireless tracking dongles. The lost and found system offers the option to "find", "leash", or "page" from the iPhone, with the most useful being the "leash" option, creating a pre-set boundary for monitoring the whereabouts of keys (or kids and pets) all from one management screen. A starter kit with case and two tracking tags is $129.99.