Gecko for tracking and alerts takes to Indiegogo for funds

Sep 21, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) —Gecko is a new Indiegogo project from Bangalore, India startup Connovate Technology. The project seeks funds to mass produce the company's Bluetooth smart tag, slightly bigger than a coin, called Gecko. The device cannot change the world but it can help anyone's effort to get through the day. Gecko monitors and tracks the whereabouts of everyday objects, pets, and toddlers to make sure nothing is lost or at risk. Gecko measures 36mm diameter and is 4.9mm thick, according to the company site. The glass and aluminum device can be stuck on anything, from phone, wallet, luggage, to keychain. If the user naps at a train station or airport Gecko can alert the user if someone moves the bags.

Tag a front door or window and your Gecko can send you an alert on your phone every time the door is opened and closed. Making use of Bluetooth, Gecko can track objects. The promotional video shows someone getting out of bed in the morning and using the Gecko to find the phone. (You can attach it to a key, and if you can't find the key you can use your phone to make Gecko sound a beep. If you can't find your phone, you can get Gecko to make the phone start ringing.) The moment the object, or pet, or toddler, moves out of the 100 foot range, you hear an audible alert. Tag your pet to get an alert when it leaves a 100-foot radius.

Geckos can work with iOS and with Android devices. The Gecko is packed with a TI CC2541 SoC, and runs on a coin cell battery that can last 1.5 years with normal usage. An LED and buzzer provides the alert that can be heard in a . An provides motion detection.

The Gecko project, with $50,000 funding as the goal, has received $16,861 in pledges at the time of this writing with 36 days left to go.

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"We started off building Gecko almost a year ago," according to its team. They completed hardware and firmware design and they "have built the complete ecosystem of chipset vendors and manufacturing partner to mass produce Gecko," they added. They will apply funding toward the next steps in tooling and commercial production.

Twenty dollars gets a Gecko with free access to Gecko application, , gesture control for smartphone music and camera triggering, a pill box alert and Track & Find. The estimated delivery date is December.

The company behind Gecko is a design engineering and product solutions company. Team skills include experience in embedded system and connectivity technologies.

Explore further: Pilbara gecko genetics shaped by geographical processes

More information: www.connovatech.com/web/index.html
www.indiegogo.com/projects/gec… -smart-phone-smarter

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User comments : 6

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kochevnik
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 21, 2013
Device should have solar cell to charge and chirp alarm to indicate lack of light or dead battery. As such the device is just an equivalent of RFID tags sold on the Internet for years which suffer from the same design defects. Users will forget about batteries much more often than they lose items. Worse the device breeds false confidence of security. In the end the user will lose their batteries, bluetooth tag, cellphone, keys and a hundred dollars
Milou
2.1 / 5 (7) Sep 21, 2013
Apart from Alzheimer, forgetting and loosing is part of being a great human being. Sometimes the best thing for someone is loosing the damn phone. Besides what happens when it is you that goes beyond 100ft from the tagged object? How many bee-pings will one get? We are going to have a society of idiots walking around with heads shaking (Google glasses) and constant beeping because we forget our tagging distances. The Bible never told us we'd get to this???
alfie_null
not rated yet Sep 22, 2013
Device should have solar cell to charge and chirp alarm to indicate lack of light or dead battery. As such the device is just an equivalent of RFID tags sold on the Internet for years which suffer from the same design defects. Users will forget about batteries much more often than they lose items. Worse the device breeds false confidence of security. In the end the user will lose their batteries, bluetooth tag, cellphone, keys and a hundred dollars


Parts like solar cells and audio transducers will increase the production cost, which the developers are probably trying hard to control right now. Might be nice though, if the design didn't preclude adding a solar cell as a separate module for those purchasers who need them.

Beepers are not a good idea for a couple reasons: They don't work if the battery is completely dead, and it's difficult to locate a beeping object. It would be better to merely configure the device to phone home say, once a day.
Feldagast
1 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2013
nitin_gk
not rated yet Sep 23, 2013
Device should have solar cell to charge and chirp alarm to indicate lack of light or dead battery. As such the device is just an equivalent of RFID tags sold on the Internet for years which suffer from the same design defects. Users will forget about batteries much more often than they lose items. Worse the device breeds false confidence of security. In the end the user will lose their batteries, bluetooth tag, cellphone, keys and a hundred dollars


Actually, the app on the phone does show when the battery is going weak. You can take action based on that. However, we do like seeing your responses and how you'd want to better it.
nitin_gk
not rated yet Sep 23, 2013
Parts like solar cells and audio transducers will increase the production cost, which the developers are probably trying hard to control right now. Might be nice though, if the design didn't preclude adding a solar cell as a separate module for those purchasers who need them.

Beepers are not a good idea for a couple reasons: They don't work if the battery is completely dead, and it's difficult to locate a beeping object. It would be better to merely configure the device to phone home say, once a day.


Bringing down the cost has been a major issue. Even 20$ is not a small amount for economies like India and Brazil. And we are trying hard. The device is extendable with a (possibly microusb) port. So, one can affix an external solar cell if one wants. However, we did not see it as something 80% of our users would want.
Also, Gecko is being designed as a platform. Please feel free to chip in and build cooler things over it!