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UGrokit launched today to let you tag the stuff you lose the most with thin radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags so you can find them with a sensor.
Several years ago, object locating systems such as Click N’ Dig could be found in catalogues and specialty retailers such as Brookstone. These systems use radio frequency to find keys, remotes, and other items by attaching a plastic disk receiver that can respond to a signal. Products like these are still around, but one of their hurdles to wide adoption is the size and cost of the receivers. Click N’ Dig, for example, costs about $40 and comes with four receivers, but no others can be added.
UGrokIt is making object locating systems a bit more scaleable, with unlimited RFID tags that are thin, washable, and can stick or attach to basically anything.
Co-founder Carrie Requist hopes that its technology will reach more people than RFIDs have in the past, because the cost of each tag is much lower than others out there. She told VentureBeat that she wants to see how researchers and students use the technology when it becomes available.
UGrokIt’s system (picture above) comes with a “Grok,” an orange RFID scanner that connects to a smartphone and sends out the radio signal, and RFID tags that can either stick to an object or loop around a cable or keyring. The tags use a small chip and a flat antenna that don’t require any electricity and cost $1 each. The Grok is powered by an app that records each item that has a tag assigned to it.
The system, which is available to reserve now, won’t come cheap. Expect to pay about $159 for the entire UGrokIt system when it releases.
Steamboat Springs, Colo.-based UGrokIt was founded by Carrie and Tony Requist and has been self-funded so far.