Misplaced an item again? Add a Chipolo One Finder to track/alert you to the location.

If your employer provides you with an RFID name badge to access rooms/locations at your job, you likely have experienced the frustration of misplacing it.  Some may have arrived at work only to realize they forgot it at home, while others may have sat it down and forgot where they placed it.  Regardless, it is incredibly frustrating to try to retrace your steps or to frantically search for something you have lost.  With the COVID-19 Pandemic in full swing, our hospital has changed our check-in routine.  When we arrive, we swipe our badge at one of two main entrances, get our temperature checked, navigate to the changing/staging area, remove our street clothes, and then don a pair of scrubs.  Since I no longer enter the clinic directly, I have had to remember to take my employee badge home with me.  To provide an added reminder, I wanted to pair my keys/badge with an item finder. 

The Chipolo one item finder arrived in a 4 3/16 inches square by 1 1/4 inches thick retail package.  The main focus of the cover was the 1 7/16 inches diameter mint green keyring tracker against a similarly covered mint green background.  I loved the use of the white font title across the upper left, the “Chipolo” name along the bottom left, and the descriptive find-it sentence along the middle.  I was pleased to find unmarked real-estate on both of the side panels.  The white background contrasted brilliantly with the thin-mint-green color of the cover and top panel.  The bottom panel appeared to be a bit busy, providing a QR code, SKU barcode, several of the typical product manufacturing labels, and a quick legalese disclaimer.  The multilingual back panel proved to be the most useful of the surfaces.  The product features (ring, track, be alerted, loud, water-resistant, 2yr battery life, replaceable battery) were also provided in English, French, German, and Spanish.  The Chipolo one device, when combined with the app, will allow you to activate the Chipolo jingle through your phone app, or to find your phone via the Chipolo one device. Combined with the last location feature, and a distance tether feature, the Chipolo one device may help you to stop losing your items. 

I slid the inner white box out of the outer slipcover and then set aside the quick start guide.  Beneath the 3/16 inches thick square cardboard start-up box, you will find a 1 1/2 inches diameter mint-green Chipolo one tracker resting within a black foam layer.  The 0.28 ounce, 1/4 inches thick, Chipolo one item finder had a 3/16 inches diameter cutout along the top of the front panel and a small cutout along the side. To get started, navigate to the iOS App Store or Google Play store to download the Chipolo app or navigate to www.chipolo.net/welcome on your favorite web browser.  Once the app was downloaded, the main panel provided six scrolling pages.  I swiped through the welcome statement, the definition of the Chipolo finder, the ring-and-find feature, and tracker features.  Along the bottom of the screen, you will find a green “SIGN UP” and a white “LOG IN” button.  I tapped “SIGN UP” and was taken to another page with options to “Continue with Apple,” or to sign up via Google, Facebook or Email.  I tapped the “Continue with Apple” option, reviewed my name/email and clicked “Continue” along the bottom.  The next panel listed Chipolo across the top, a cog to the top left and a plus icon along the top right.  You can enable/disable notifications and if you tap share your phone, you will go to another screen, which will allow you to share your phone with friends/family to help find it lost.  You can also tap options to get a free chipolo, navigate to Alexa/Google Voice Assistant information, to access device settings, and general help. 

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The pairing process for Chipolo finder proved to be a rather elementary process.  From the main screen, tap the “+” icon along the upper right and tap the Chipolo One or Chipolo Card.  The smart device will ask for Bluetooth permission, will then ask you to firmly press the Chipolo device, wait for the sound, and then place the device near your phone.  Once paired, you can tap the large “RING TO FIND” green button for the Chipolo to play its jingle.  When found, you can either press the middle of the Chipolo One, or you can press the button on your smartphone, which turned to a red “STOP RINGING” option. You can then set up out of range alerts, share the Chipolo location with family/friends, access Siri shortcuts (more below), change the ringtone (Chipolo, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Merry Christmas, Pixel Dance, Dots and Dashes), take a selfie, and you can access the same options as mentioned above (Get a Free Chipolo, Google Assistant and Alexa, Chipolo Settings, Help).  More than a simple item finder, I was pleased to find that the Bluetooth Chipolo device doubled as a remote camera shutter, but only through their app.  Per the included instruction manual, the included CR2032 battery should provide approximately 2 years of utility.  At that time, you can choose to purchase a newer device or install a new CR2032 battery for continued use.  

With the Chipolo One installed onto your work badge, keyring, or AirPods Pro Carabiner, press the “RING TO FIND” option on the app to cause the Chipolo to jingle.  Once you have found it, you can either press the device or tap the option on your smart device.  If desired, you can simplify this process by adding Siri Shortcuts.  If you tap the “Siri Shortcuts” option within the app, you can quickly add the “RING MY CHIPOLO” and “STOP RINGING MY CHIPOLO” to the available shortcut actions.  Siri accessed these shortcuts quickly and effortlessly. Despite the benefits of the shortcuts, they cannot help you to remember to take the item with you.  To solve this problem, you can activate the “Out of Range Alert” to receive notifications when you have moved far enough away from the Chipolo.  When you have moved ~10 meters away, you will receive a notification at the top of your phone “Hey Did you leave your My Chipolo behind?”  Instead of arriving at work to realize you had forgotten your item, you will receive the notification to return home to retrieve the item. Personally, that feature was the most beneficial of them all.  

If you do not feel that you need a finder device, you may not be thinking creatively.  You may consider putting one onto the collar of your pet, for example. I tried the device on my keyring, on my AirPods Pro and ultimately it ended up attached to one of my daughter’s toys. My fifteen-month-old daughter loves her stuffed Mickey Mouse doll with a plastic belt clip.  Since she carries the toy throughout the house, she has a tendency to leave it in a variety of places.  Some days, we have had to search nearly every room to find the toy.  Now, we can either use my phone or SIRI to make the toy jingle.  I was pleased with the size of the device, with the shape of the device and ultimately, with the ability to enjoy it beyond the two-year battery life. I wish that there were more ring tones, and I wish that the volume of the device could be adjusted up/down. Lastly, it would have been nice to have a piece of double-sided tape to affix the device to a remote or to another flat surface. Despite these negatives, I found very few reasons to not own several of these finder devices. If you navigate to the website, you can purchase one in blue, yellow, red, grey, green, and black. For a limited time, you can buy a single Chipolo for $25, a four-pack for $75, a six-pack for $105, or a combo of two Chipolo Ones and two Chipolo Cards for $72.

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