Superproducer Ted Hope on...

December 6, 2012

Use the Innovative StickNFind to Keep Track of Your Expensive Equipment

Imagine this. You're working a RED Epic film with a bunch of new crew members, and you're in the camera department. It's the first set of the second day. This production is moving, and you shot 10 pages the previous day. Your DP calls out for the 35mm Cooke prime -- no sweat. You head over to the video village or camera cart, look for the lens case, and *gasp* the case isn't there. After a full half hour of looking, your team can't find the missing lenses. Panic ensues, mistrust starts to brew, and fingers begin to get pointed. What're you to do? There may be an innovative solution for you if you've got a prepared equipment manager -- the StickNFind, a bluetooth powered  location sticker that works with Android or iOS. Click through to see the IndieGoGo pitch video:

The StickNFind is a quarter-sized black capsule that emits a bluetooth signal. The range is 100 feet line-of-sight. You use an app on your Android or iOS device to locate the capsules, which are tagged in-app. I'm into the modular design -- a small, nondescript black capsule is perfect for us film people. I also noticed the batteries can be changed out without removing the base. Alternatively, if you want to remove the base and put it on something else, it's totally removable. You can pair multiple phones to the stickers, which means you could pretty effectively team up a group of people to look for an item -- like in the aforementioned scenario, on a crew.

Another key feature is the "virtual leash". Say you have a StickNFind on a key piece of gear you're using all day, like an iPad or a lens case, that would be easy for some nefarious person to walk away with. When your StickNFind leaves your leash circumference, you get a notification. That could have outstanding implications for theft deterring.

I feel the radar on the UI is a bit misleading, because as the video states, the StickNFind is not direction-sensitive. It will not tell you if your sticker is to the right or left, rather it will only give you a "Marco Polo" or "hot-cold" style of finding lost items. Still, that seems easy enough to use, and again the lighting up/buzzing notifications should be enough to find your missing items. I'm also hesitant about the accessibility of iOS devices -- I just got an iPad 2, and I don't think it should already be obsolete to this software. It's likely that they just didn't list it and it actually would work, but still... would like to see that on there.

The StickNFind is already $30,000 over its funding goal with 40 days to spare. At this point, you're really just backing to reserve your set of stickers. I'm personally into the $65 dollar backer level. Four stickers would be enough to properly test the system out, and I could see myself sticking one onto my camera rig, my camera bag, my slider, and my jib. Then, if I like the results and tested it out favorably, I'd be inclined to buy more once they go into mass production. Which it seems, according to their timeline, would be post-March 2013, after the Indiegogo obligations are met.

What uses would you have for a bluetooth powered location sticker like StickNFind? And I'm very interested in alternatives as well -- do you presently use any other alternatives, such as GPS locators, or the like?

Link: StickNFind - Bluetooth Powered Location Sticker

Your Comment

17 Comments

For cinema stuff? No thanks, no for my minim. budget but reliable crew...in other hand...aren't cool for stick on robber's back when doing the spiderman on the streets?

December 6, 2012

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Mr Martin

I have to admit, Batman-esque vigilante applications also crossed my mind... : )

December 6, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

It looks like the iPad 2 is incompatible for hardware reasons. The StickNFind is Bluetooth 4.0, and the iPad only includes Bluetooth 2.1

December 6, 2012

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Alex H.

What happens if they were left a previous location? Or someone actually stole your lenses and they weren't misplaced? Wouldn't a GPS locater be much more useful? I think the best application for this would be for keys. How often do you misplace your keys within a 100' radius.

December 6, 2012

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Allan

I thought the same thing! If someone jacks your gear then you would never find it with this...

December 6, 2012

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JM Media

Nifty- I'll leave this for finding my remote and wallet in my dorm room.

December 6, 2012

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Austin Mace

Cool idea, but on a film set? A good second assist should know where everything is on the day and the rest of the crew know not to touch camera gear with out asking and we do the same.

Would be cool to see these on cube van keys or PA's though, you can never seem to find either when you need them.

December 6, 2012

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Paul

Yeah, I agree. I'm just suggesting that another safeguard like this could be useful as an additional set risk mitigation. A good way of knowing where (fill in the blank) is on set. Or where it went.

December 6, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

Ah, this invention was missing in my life :D
Stoked, my wishes have meterialized!

December 6, 2012

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If it was GPS it would actually be useful. If I am going to steal a case of lenses, I sure as hell would make sure to be more than 100 feet away from the scene of the crime.

December 6, 2012

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john jeffreys

For the sake of argument then John -- that's when I, the intrepid eq manager or cam dept crew member, would have a StickNFind set to "leash" mode, and know you were walking off with the goods. : ) Again though, I'm open to suggestions down here for GPS alternatives, I agree with you there.

December 6, 2012

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Benjamin Dewhurst
Writer
writer/director

May I suggest to leave the case behind and take only the lenses?

December 9, 2012

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Thyl Engelhardt

You can't find the case full of Cooke primes?

Someone is never working in the industry ever again...

December 6, 2012

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Sounds cool but what do I do in case I misplace my cellphone or ipad?

December 6, 2012

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Davinci

@DaVinci: According to the website, the StickNFind on your keyring will buzz, if set up accordingly, when you are about to forget your phone.

Great find, that might revolutionize my life!

December 9, 2012

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Thyl Engelhardt

Garmin makes a little battery powered gps that works with iOS called the GTU-10. I have one on my truck as it's a hot item for stealing where I live. The battery lasts just over a week with the settings I prefer. You can make geo-fences and see where it is on via your iOS device so long as your iOS device is in cell coverage. Might be worth checking out for you persons that want to keep track of people. It does cost a little money. I'm happy with mine.

December 6, 2012

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Abersouth

I wonder if a good way to use this would be by tagging the most expensive and most used pieces of gear on a shoot and putting them all in a base camp with everything else. That way, if someone does walk off with something when it's not in use, one would be able to check out the arrangement of tags from within the app. A misshapen arrangement could mean a potential problem.

There have been some comments about compatibility and those are valid for sure, but all-in-all this is an interesting tool to introduce into production.

December 8, 2012

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