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?