By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
7:43 PM EDT, July 31, 2012
Name: BiKN iPhone 4/4S Starter Kit
What it is: An iPhone case with a brain to help find important stuff — from your keys to your kids (or their stuff) or your purse or your pet. And if you find your keys or your dog but not your phone, press the button on one of the little BiKN tags to trigger the alarm on the smart case, and the sound will guide you to your iPhone. Indoors, the BiKN can help you find things within 50 to 100 feet, and outside it has a range up to 500 feet. The BiKN kit includes the brainy case, two smart tags and a micro-USB charger. The case and tags work with the free BiKN iPhone app. The BiKN case has its own battery, so it keeps working even if your phone is dead or turned off.
The good: I am always losing my keys or my phone in paperwork clutter or an oversized bag. With BiKN, I only have to remember to charge the tags every couple of weeks. The app lets you personalize the icons for your tagged stuff. I snapped a photo of my cats with my iPhone, then made them the icon for my house keys. The "find" graphic on the app works like a beacon to let me know if I'm heading in the right or wrong direction as I'm guided by the high-pitched sound the tag emits.
The bad: The high-pitched sound is great when I'm searching for something in a quiet place, such as my home, but if I'm out at a noisy restaurant, the sound is harder to hear. I'd love to be able to personalize the tone similar to choosing a custom ring tone.
Cost: $99.99 with two tags and a USB charger.
Available from: bikn.com
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