If you’re like me, every five or ten years, you lose your key ring and everything on it — and it always happens at an inopportune time.
Downside to losing your keys
It’s frustrating — not too many things make you feel like a bigger dummy!
It’s expensive — since many cars now (including mine) run only using an electronic key fob that costs $250 or more to replace. The spare key only opens the outside door, but won’t run the car.
It’s inconvenient and time-consuming to go to the car dealer to pay $250 to get a replacement key fob and to the locksmith to get replacement house and garage keys made. It’s also embarrassing to have to tell your boss you lost the keys to every filing cabinet around your desk, and go to the fitness center to request a replacement key ring entry card, etc.
My last experience with a lost key ring
I recently went on a 9-mile group hike with 28 other people and realized at the half-way point (where a group of us were going to call it a day and head back to our cars) that I no longer had my key ring. I’d ridden in several people’s cars to get there so we could carpool back, and we’d been walking on muddy trails — so the keys could’ve fallen from my pocket anywhere without making much noise.
An extremely nice woman drove me all the way home so I could dig around for a hidden spare house key, then run inside for my back-up key fob — and she drove me back to the starting point where my car was parked and locked.
Right then, I decided to take action to avoid ever being in that situation again!
(Luckily, I got a call two hours later from the hike organizer who said someone who’d walked the full 9 miles found my key ring in the backseat of her car!)
How to avoid losing key rings in the future
*I am an Amazon affiliate, and may receive a small commission if you buy Amazon items using the link below, but it does not increase the cost to you. And I wouldn’t recommend anything I didn’t love!*
When I got home the second time, I went to the Amazon website and ordered a Tile Mate key finder 4-pack for $70. My friend had been telling me several days before about the ones she got her husband for Christmas – and explained how they work.
Tile Mate Tracker
The trackers come with a free phone app and tiles to place on the items you want to track. (They come with a hole to attach them to a keyring, but otherwise, you need to buy a pack of adhesive to affix the tiles to surfaces like a checkbook.)
If you lose an item, simply ping it on the phone app and the Tile plays one of 3 “songs” (which sound like cell phone tunes) to help you locate it.
If the item is outside the 100-foot range and you can’t find it, you’re automatically connected to the Community Find feature.
Smart phones of Tile Mate users who are in the area of your lost item running Bluetooth on their phone and come within 100 feet of your Tile automatically notifies the tracker company, which alerts you by text message of the device’s last known location. By the same token, if you — and your Bluetooth-enabled phone — come near someone else’s tracked item, your Tile phone app automatically — and anonymously — reports the location of that device to help the other person. It’s a great plan!
Things Tile Mate can locate
You can use the Tile Mate to find:
and anything else you affix the Tile to or put it inside of.
Advantages of using Tile Mate
This product is a winner!
- It helps you avoid losing valuables
- Tile Mat provides protection at a reasonable price
- The device is fairly small
- It’s easily affixed to key rings and other items, or slipped inside wallets and other valuables
- The community (crowd GPS) feature is a real plus
- You can share access with someone else — so that a spouse can track your valuables by installing the app on his or her phone
- You can also split the 4-pack so each family member has a few
- The ring tone is nice and loud when an object is found
- You can label tiles (wallet, keys, luggage, etc.) on the phone app if you buy more than one to track each item independently
- If you can’t locate your smartphone and have a Tile item, you can press the middle of the tile to find your phone (sort of like a reverse look-up)!
Disadvantages of using Tile Mate
- It’s not so small that you could use it on every single thing (like a hearing aid), although it works for most things. (I think it’s really too big to attach to a smartphone, but you might disagree.)
- The battery (included) lasts only a year; replacement batteries/devices are reportedly available at half price
- If you run Bluetooth on your smartphone continuously, it wears the phone battery down quickly
- Tile Mates do NOT come with adhesive; you need to buy a four-pack separately for $5
- If don’t never turn Bluetooth on, it may not immediately show the last place the tracked item was located, making it harder to find it if lost
I’ve been excited about using my Tile Mates and will be conducting the ultimate test soon. My luggage was lost the last TWO times I traveled abroad — and since I’m going again this year, we’ll see if it can find my suitcase when and if the airline loses it again! 🙂
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