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Misplaced your phone? Dropped your keys? Lost your dog? This crowdfunded project would let you locate basically anything with tiny GPS trackers that are accurate to within 5 feet.
Retrievor is GPS disk that’s barely more than an inch in diameter and less than a half-inch thick. Retrievor trackers are powered by tiny solar panels and can be set to very low power usage; so, in theory, they can operate indefinitely. There’s also a micro USB port for charging the batteries conventionally. Trackers can be viewed and controlled by web, Android, or iPhone apps. Owning a Retrievor will cost $1.79 per month for each tracking device, presumably to offset operating costs.
For extra fun with tracking, the Retrievor can be given parameters for alerts—a sort of virtual fence to work in. If the tracker (and, presumably, the person or thing it’s attached to) leaves the virtual fence, Retrievor will send text messages alerts. Presumably these read “the prisoner is trying to escape” or “the teenager is skipping school.”
GPS tracking that’s precise down to 5 feet would certainly be useful for lost keys or other small items. But the marketing for Retrievor suggests its primary use is tracking people. Set to a bad B-movie montage song, the Indiegogo project video plays heavily on parental paranoia, suggesting buyers attach Retrievors to their children’s bicycle helments and backpacks, to campers and mountain bikers. Retrievor will “let you know where your teenagers are,” but in a weird following-them-with-a-secret-tracking-device way, not a normal call-and-ask-them way. The project’s FAQ even includes the question “How can I attach Retrievor to my child or pet?”
Creepily, that’s how.