Electronics

Pixie Points help you locate lost objects using AR maps

Pixie Points help you locate l...
Pixie Points attach to everyday objects allowing them to be located using an augmented reality app (Photo: Pixie)
Pixie Points attach to everyday objects allowing them to be located using an augmented reality app (Photo: Pixie)
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Pixie Points attach to everyday objects allowing them to be located using an augmented reality app (Photo: Pixie)
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Pixie Points attach to everyday objects allowing them to be located using an augmented reality app (Photo: Pixie)
The app marks the location of the lost object with an X (Photo: Pixie)
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The app marks the location of the lost object with an X (Photo: Pixie)

Pixie Points are new location trackers that use your smartphone's camera to locate tagged objects in an actual picture of your surroundings. The system is claimed capable of tracking down "pixified" objects, which are marked with a bold X, to within a few inches of their location.

Sticking on a teardrop-shaped sensor tag called a Pixie Point onto your gadget or pet pixifies it; they're added to a digital map of objects which your smartphone keeps track of via Bluetooth using an augmented reality application. Any pixified object communicates with both the app and each other, even through walls, to form a closely-knit private network. The free iOS/Android app is able to use a secure network to precisely triangulate an object's coordinates within a 30 - 150 ft (10 - 45 m) range.

Which means if your child has the tendency to leave their pixified Kindle in the car, the app will guide you to it. Point your phone at the car in the driveway and you'll see an X marking the spot in the backseat. The app also creates an augmented reality map of every tagged object making it possible for you to see where everything is at a glance.

The app marks the location of the lost object with an X (Photo: Pixie)
The app marks the location of the lost object with an X (Photo: Pixie)

While most location trackers that use a smartphone work best at close range, they have issues with accuracy. Button TrackR uses wireless signal strength to indicate how close or far away you might be to the lost object, while Tile helps you out with text clues. With Pixie Points, all you need to do is look at an augmented reality image to see exactly where everything is.

If you've lost something beyond the system's 150 ft range, you'll be alerted to its last known location logged with the app. The company reportedly spent 2 years developing the technology to achieve accuracy levels to within a few inches.

Another cool feature of Pixie Points is being able to create customized checklists of all the tagged items you need, for individual kits like travel kits and business kits. All you need to do before leaving for office, for example, is view your computer bag with your smartphone to see if everything in your business kit is inside. The app alerts you if anything's missing.

Each Pixie Point tag has dimensions of 47 x 35 x 3.2 mm (1.8 x 1.3 x 0.1 in) and a lifetime of 18 months. The developers say that in order to keep the Pixie Points as thin as possible, a non-replaceable battery is used. When the internal battery runs low, the app will inform the user and the tag can be disposed of and replaced.

A single packet with four Pixie Points can currently be pre-ordered for US$39.95, while a 12 Pixie Point packet costs $109.85. Shipping begins in the (Northern Hemisphere) summer.

Check out a video of Pixie Points below

Source: Pixie

3 comments
Anne Ominous
This is a really cool idea, but at $10 a pop with planned obsolescence of 18 months, I won't be buying them. Too bad.
Damien
Anne: I agree. Non-replicable / non-rechargeable battery is a dealbreaker. The product is flawed by design.
martinkopplow
Rechargeable batteries would probably not solve the issue, as recharging every 18 month is not practical. There should be some other source of power. As it is now, it looks like this will create a heap of electronics waste, for a limited use and short lifetime. I find the idea very interesing, but will not buy them. I'll teach my child to take care of her toys instead and only buy her a Kindle once she's leaned that.