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Proximo lets you use your iPhone to find your keys

Lex Friedman | Jan. 8, 2013
Kensington will formally unveil its new Proximo product this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but the company shared a $60 Proximo Starter Kit with Macworld early. I've spent a few days with the device, which is meant to help you monitor the whereabouts of your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, along with your keys and potentially other valuables.

Now, I'm rarely in danger of forgetting my keys; I tend to need them when I leave the house or return to my car. But I did consider attaching the tag to my wallet somehow, so that my iPhone could harass me if I tried to leave the house without it. That's a no-go; there's no setting broad enough to make that a feasible option. I've disabled the alarms on both the fob and the tag.

That doesn't render them useless, though. The Proximo app can still page either device: You launch the app, find the device you're after in the Dashboard, and tap Find; seconds later, the fob or tag will start beeping. And when you have the fob in hand but not your iPhone, pushing the button on the fob will make the iPhone sound an alert, provided it's within range.

When a fob/tag isn't in range, the Proximo app's Find buttons change to Last Seen. Tap that button, and you'll see your fob or tag geolocated on a map, plotting its last known location.

Bluetooth Smart is meant to consume little energy. It's hard to test this stuff scientifically, but I felt like my iPhone 5's battery drained roughly 10 per cent more quickly than I would otherwise expect it to. That's neither ideal nor terrible. Frankly, the ability to find my keys quickly when they're lost in the house is probably worth the battery impact to me. The battery inside the fobs and tags should last up to six months, depending on how often the devices' speakers are engaged.

Bottom line

The Proximo products and app are clever, and they work. I really wish that the built-in alarm could work with a broader range, so that my iPhone and fob wouldn't sound their alerts until they were a bit further apart; as is, it's too limited for me to use that feature. But Proximo means I can use my iPhone to find my keys, and that's mighty useful when my keys go missing.

 

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