Keeping track of your possessions, or pets can often be a difficult task. Whether you just mislayed them or they went for a walk by themselves, it would be a lot easier to find them if you could just look at your phone and find out. That’s what the Iotera Iota is all about, giving you a quick and easy way to track items that are important to you within a certain radius.
The Iota is a product that comprises two key components. Firstly, there’s the home base, which acts as a hub for all of your connected devices and secondly, there’s the little broadcast sensors, which can issue location updates as long as they’re within the radius of your homebase hardware. Depending on your local area, this could be as far as four miles, but if there are other homebases nearby, the signal can leapfrog, giving you coverage over huge areas, in some cases whole parts of the country – though an established network will need to be built first.
The whole system uses long range radio technology, with each homebase contributing to the overall network. In the future, it could be possible to find anything linked with the Iota network anywhere in the country, or even the world.
However, on a more personal level, finding your keys or that pet that wandered out of the garden shouldn’t be too difficult. You can set up alerts to let you know if an Iota device (and what it’s attached to) is leaving a safe area, or you can have them issue a noise to help you find the item in a rush.
Battery life can last from anywhere between 10 days (if you’re checking the location every 10 minutes), or four months if less frequently. You can set up profiles on the smartphone app for different items and it’s even waterproof, so you can rest assured that a bit of rain won’t kill off your network.
It also has a built in accelerometer and temperature sensor to keep an eye on certain aspects of your home or vehicle.
At the time of writing, you can only pre-order the Iotera Iota, which comes in two packages. The first is $79.99 (£50) for ther Homebase, while the second is for the little Iota sensor and costs $59.99 (£37), though these prices will rise after release.
The only real downside to the Iota is that it faces a bit of a chicken and egg scenario, where while some of its functionality will be great out of the box, the real long range support will only come about when lots of people have bought one, which may not happen until the network is there. Similarly, it will not work as well out in the sticks as it will in larger cities, where the higher population gives you a better chance of having network support from others.
I really like the idea of the Iota, though due to my remote living it’s unlikely to be as useful to me as those living in cities. Still, I always struggle to find items in my house and pets are consistently escape artists, so perhaps a little local benefit is enough for a couple of hundred dollars.