Finding Lost Items With Chipolo
MRV: The Buzz, Your RV Lifestyle Insider. Written By: Andrew Malo.
Finding Your Way : Chipolo
A Device That Finds Lost Items For People Utilizing Bluetooth By Pairing It With A Phone And Using An App To Find Anything Associated With It
The book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” recounts the practically blind Ursula Buendia, the matriarch, finding a lost ring by observation. She realizes that everyone follows a pattern during the day and when the pattern is broken, things get lost. Finding the ring further solidifies her family’s perception that Ursula has perfect eyesight. Unfortunately for the modern world, it is not quite as easy, perhaps not even possible. People move at extremely fast paces and have a world of information that is constantly renewing and changing perspectives. Patterns are breaking every day, so people need a different way to find lost items. Ursula would have to utilize another method to convince the family of her lucidity.
Meet the Chipolo. The Chipolo is an item that finds lost items for people utilizing bluetooth. "You pair it with your phone and use an app to find anything associated with the Chipolo," explains Domen Barovic, Chief Design Officer of Chipolo. When the Chipolo is paired, it can be used to find lost keys, wallets, backpacks, and more. It can also work the other way and find a phone that has the Chipolo app, even if the phone is on silent.
"Imagine you are sitting on your couch and you can't find your keys," Barovic says, "all you do is open the app and click "find" and the Chipolo will start ringing." Barovic says it works vice versa too - if "you have access to the Chipolo, but can't find your phone - simply press the button and your phone will start ringing."
Of course the idea and journey to the Chipolo did not come over night. "My friends and I from childhood are all technology enthusiasts," Barovic recalls, "when the first iPhones were coming out, we would make apps for them." Barovic says one of his friends was interested in hardware like Bluetooth. "He had an idea that would be really useful to society," Barovic says. This was the Chipolo. "The first Chipolo was on Kickstarter and now we are building two based on that," Barovic says.
The challenges in making the Chipolo products have been plenty. Barovic explains that him and his team come from software like apps, so finding the right plastics and particularly "the colors have been really hard," Barovic chuckles. "We found people REALLY like color." Also, their goal as a company is to make things as easy as possible. "We are constantly talking to Apple and Google as their operating systems were not made for this type of product," he explains.
The two newer Chipolo products are the Chipolo Classic and the Chipolo Plus. The Chipolo Classic is thinner (about 0.2 inches) and has a replaceable battery. "It comes in black or silver," Barovic explains. The Chipolo Plus comes in 7 different colors, is more waterproof and, as such, does not have a replaceable battery. However, "because we are environmentally conscious, you can return the old Chipolo and get a new one for half price," Barovic says. He says that the Chipolo Plus should last about a year.
The company has some very clear goals. “Everything we do is to make our customers more comfortable,” Barovic explains. They plan to release a new product at least once a year using “feedback from our users” to design and create better and better devices. They also hope to develop a community of Chipolo users that support each other in finding items.
Some of the surprises with the Chipolo have been the creativity of the users. Though the company does not recommend using with pets due to potential water damage, “We have many enthusiastic consumers that use it with their dogs,” Barovic says. They use it “to track their dogs and make sure they don’t get lost.” One of his favorite stories is a pet owner using Chipolo to train her puppy. “Not only does it make sure she doesn't get lost, she knows to come to her owner when she hears the sound!” Barovic exclaims.
But is there a personal experience using the Chipolo? “Of course!” Barovic says, “I use it all the time.” What is most surprising to Barovic is the amount of time he used to spend looking for things he has lost. “Now all I do is click the button and can find anything I need.” Chipolo estimates people spend about 10 minutes a day looking for lost items. In a world where things move faster and faster and time matters more than ever, those ten minutes of frustration and tension disappears into a peaceful click of a button.
A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Education, Andrew has
taught for the past decade in Chicago, New Mexico, and Japan. He
enjoys tinkering with trucks and motorcycles, woodworking, reading and