Back when I wrote about the TrackR line of Bluetooth-enabled trackers, I came away not entirely sold that they could replace my favorite tracker, the Tile. So when the TrackR folks contacted me last month to talk about some new technology they had in the works, I was a bit surprised. Then I saw what they had and I had them send me everything they could so that I could throw trackers everywhere. (Note: Do not put a tracker in your wife’s purse without letting her know, even if she is in the habit of losing it regularly. She’ll get suspicious.).
Why the turnaround? Because TrackR’s latest product offering, Atlas, promises to combine all Bluetooth trackers into one easy-to-access network, powered by Amazon’s Alexa, to help ensure that you can ask “Where’s my keychain/wallet/bag/laptop/dog/cat/coffee cup?” and always get a helpful, user-friendly response.
The TrackR Atlas is a plug-in hub that maps out your house, keeps track of the location of your Bluetooth tracking devices (not just the TrackR bravo), then gives you room-specific updates on where things are when you ask. Yes, “ask.” With Amazon’s Alexa, the same AI used in the Echo, it can handle natural-language questions and give you responses that are a lot more effective than a few beeps or chirps. It will even work directly with your Echo or Amazon Fire Stick (with voice remote). This is in addition to iOS and Apple devices.
I had a chance to talk with TrackR CEO, Chris Herbert, just before their Indiegogo campaign launched, and he was kind enough to demonstrate an early Atlas unit in action. Suffice to say, it really does work as easily as it appears to in the campaign video.
TrackR’s Indigogo campaign has been going for a bit and has just under a month to go. They’ve already exceeded their $50,000 target goal and, given the success of the original TrackR campaign, they’re on target to deliver the Atlas with minimal hiccups in mid-2016. The only real downside I see for Atlas is that TrackR recommends you install the Atlas in every room of your house. At $39 a pop, that can get expensive fast. The campaign does ease the adoption cost a bit by offering multiple devices at a discount.
So if you’re ready to start keeping better tabs on your stuff and want to stop playing Marco Polo with your tracking devices, pre-order an Atlas from TrackR’s Indiegogo campaign today!