Next generation location-tracking tag from Pixie.

Sometimes Only a Pixie Can Find Your Stuff

Architechnologist Electronics Technology
Next generation location-tracking tag from Pixie.
Next generation location-tracking tag from Pixie. Image Credit: Pixie Technology

Location tracking technology or the cooler “Location of Things” (LoT) jargon uses small bluetooth-enabled tags to locate commonly misplaced items. New advancements in the technology from Pixie Technology improves on simple audio cues (one device activates beeping on another) by using signaling technology based on mapping the location of connected objects and an augmented reality (AR) interface to display the location of misplaced objects on a smartphone screen. We were given a Pixie system to test the advantages of their platform and compare it to existing systems.

The accuracy of the Pixie platform is due to the mesh network created by all connected Pixie Points that continuously signal each other and communicate their relative distance from one another. This creates a map of the tags’ locations similar to the principles used in GPS systems and can pinpoint items with an accuracy of inches and an outdoor range of 150 feet and 30-50 feet indoors.

Current tracking solutions use basic technology and rely on sounds and alerts to approximate locations. With Pixie Points and our LoT platforms, we take the guess work out of tracking an object by showing people where an item is hiding through walls and down to inches. We will soon be in a world where everything around us can be given a digital identity, and Pixie looks forward to delivering a future where lost and misplaced items are a thing of the past.
— Amir Bassan-Eskenazi, CEO and co-founder of Pixie Technology

The first Pixie Point is attached to a mobile phone, acting as the “anchor”, with additional tags affixed to often misplaced items like keys, wallets and remotes to toys, passports and luggage, allowing them be quickly located. To find “Pixified” items, users simply select the misplaced item in the application (currently iOS only, but an Android version is in development); the app immediately indicates whether the item is close by and guides users to its location.

Another innovation of the Pixie system is the presentation of the location to the user through the application, making finding the missing item simple and highly effective. Three steps direct the user:

• Map: A scan of the area is like taking a panoramic photo that maps the immediate environment and locates Pixified items’ positions relative to the user – even if the item is in another room or hidden from sight.
• Show: The Pixie app reveals the location of the item with an arrow icon that shows both the direction and distance from the object. Using augmented reality to direct the user, Pixie uses a feature called “Pixie Dust” – placing a swarm of dots at the missing item’s location.

Find missing items in augmented reality with Pixie Dust.
Find missing items in augmented reality with Pixie Dust. Image Credit: Pixie Technology

• Grab: Once the user is within five feet of the lost item, the app automatically changes modes to act like a metal detector and accurately zeroes-in on the target. The Pixie app provides visual and audio guidance to tell users if they are getting closer or farther away from the exact location of the object

Each 47mm x 35mm x 3.2mm Pixie Point tag boasts a 12-month battery life and is IP67 water and dust resistant.

Pixie is available now at A package of four Pixie Points is available for $99.99 and includes a Pixie Point housing iPhone case; a two pack (also with an iPhone case) will cost $49.99.

Sometimes Only a Pixie Can Find Your Stuff is cross-published on the Architechnologist, a site dedicated to exploring technologies that change the way we experience the world around us.

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