Trackers such as Tile and Button TrackR that link up with smartphones through custom apps can help us keep tabs on cherished belongings. But what if a tracker could not only locate a lost item, but also warn us before the item gets left behind? This is the main premise of The O.

Rather than springing into action after an item has been lost or misplaced, an iOS/Android app running on a smartphone sounds off a warning when a user strays too far from anything tagged with The O tracker. If an alert is missed, the app retains the GPS location and time of the object's last known location.

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The system also works as a personal assistant of sorts, using context-based information on the phone, such as the user’s calendar, reminders, weather etc, to predict the items that the user needs to take with them. If it is rainy, it reminds the user to take an umbrella. If it’s gym day, it reminds the user to carry their gear with them. And so on.

The O may also be moving beyond smartphones in the future, too. "We don't want to promise it yet, but it looks very likely that we will launch with great smart watch applications as well," The O's co-creator, Christian Zeiler, tells Gizmag.

The O uses a CR2032 coin cell battery and the team says it should last comfortably for 18 months for most users as the app can switch between different modes on the chip to reduce battery consumption. Zeiler says that a replacement and recycling program still needs to be defined.

Design is also a main focus point and The O team refers to the tracker as an accessory rather than a tool. The creators were inspired by river pebbles to give the accessory its shape. The waterproof casing is made with ABS plastic.

The O can be sewn onto fabrics such as umbrella covers and kit bags. The team optimized the depth, width and angles of the grooves on the surface so that threads can run through it. A special chain accessory has been designed to go with keys, bags, briefcases and other items. The chain is cast in brass and plated in gunmetal rhodium with a mirror finish. In addition to a Premium model, a 14-karat gold-plated luxury version and a light rubber flavor are available.

The O is currently fundraising on Kickstarter. A four pack of Light Os is available at a pledge level of £37 (US$59), four O trackers and a key chain in black are listed for £38 and a luxury edition comes in at £70. If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in February 2016.

Sources: The O, Kickstarter

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