Pixie is a surprisingly accurate tracking device that adds an element of fun.
Let’s all admit it right now — we all get scatterbrained once in a while. Sometimes we find our sunglasses on top of our head when we’ve been scouring the house for them all afternoon or better yet, we misplace our keys in the freezer while getting a microwave dinner out. It happens. Fortunately, there is a new trend in the tech world that focuses on finding lost things called Location of Things (LoT). Trackers are everywhere it seems and there are a few that really jumpstarted the market with a simple Bluetooth/GPS mechanism that helps you find where you last left something. For me, I just need help here and now when I misplace something at home. That’s what Pixie is for.
Pixie helps you to achieve peace of mind because it can literally track down your items within a few inches. It uses augmented reality to take you on a treasure hunt to find your lost stuff. It’s sort of like Pokemon Go for your keys. So how does this magic work? According to Pixie Technology, the developer of Pixie Points:
The magic and accuracy of Pixie is the product of a highly advanced Location of Things (LoT) platform that creates micro-mesh networks in which all Pixie Points continually signal and communicate their relative distance from one another so that maps of all the Pixie Points can be calculated using similar principles to that of GPS systems. It is an entirely new technology architecture that was a significant and formidable undertaking, taking over three years to develop resulting in 10 patents to date.
One of the Pixie Points remains attached to your phone as an anchor point for the other tags. The other Pixie Points then sort of act like a satellite and provide distance information from each other — like GPS does. They continually contact each other and triangulate positions relative to each other within 150-foot range outdoor and 50 feet indoors. The Pixie Points connect to the app on your smartphone through Bluetooth and when you start the set-up process you are told that you have to have Bluetooth, Locations Services, and your camera in order for Pixie to do its job correctly.
Installation and getting started is one of the easiest processes I’ve ever had to do — with any product. First, you download the app. Then, you choose which point you want as your anchor and attached to your phone. I chose the blue one. Next, you open the app and pair the first point through the app. All you have to do is to place the chosen point next to your phone. Make sure the other Pixie Points are a good distance away. When it pairs successfully, the point will blink. Once you affix it to your phone, you can pair other tags. I set three of my tags up immediately and it took about five minutes — and that includes attaching one to my phone and one to my keys.
In regards to attaching the Pixie Point to your phone — you can choose to stick it to the back using the provided 3M double stick adhesive, but it’s recommended that you utilize the special Pixie iPhone Case (this is currently only available for iPhone). The case is a semi-smooth bumper style case. It’s simple in its design and really highlights the Pixie as a design feature. All the buttons and ports are accessible, but I did have one issue. I tried using a third-party Lightning cable with the case and my phone didn’t get a good connection. The case is a little thick for any cable that has a wider base to it. But, as cases go, it’s protective and doesn’t hinder the design of the Pixie or the iPhone.
The app is really easy to use, too. It’s essentially a dashboard that shows all your Pixie’s and their location. It’s a live updating app and will always show you the current location of your items. For example, my keys were sitting about 4 feet away from my phone and the dashboard and it showed “Currently 4′ from you” as the location. As a test, I tossed the keys across the room and the dashboard updated to show that the keys were now 13′ away within just a few seconds. Some tracking apps require you to refresh or reconnect to items that have trackers on them. This has always bothered me because when I’m looking for something, I want to find it as quickly as possible. So, I really like this live updating feature.
When you want to find one of your items, you simply tap the screen where the Pixie Point is being displayed and you will be given instructions on how to hold your phone for the virtual reality scan. You are directed to take a panoramic scan of the area and then the location is detected and shown by a flurry of ‘pixie dust’ on the screen. You can see from the screenshot below that it’s very accurate. I have noted where the keys are in relation to the pixie dust and it’s really very accurate. Pixie refers to it as the Map It, Show It, Grab It method of finding things.
In addition to the previous test, I also put a tracker in my purse and even though I knew where I left it (on the kitchen counter), I used the app to track it down, too. This was actually in another room of the house so I had to scan the area, and then follow the directions from the app to find the location of the item in question. In that instance, I walked in the direction of the pixie dust and when I was within about a foot of the tag, a ‘metal detector’ appears on the screen and actually gets you within a few inches of the item.
I’ve been very impressed by Pixie. I think it’s a great option for people who need to keep track of important items. It’s very easy to set-up and use, plus it adds an element of fun to go along with the task at hand.