NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Losing your car keys these days is a big, expensive deal. Smart keys with anti-theft chips inside aren't cheap to replace.
If you carry around a set of late-model car keys, you face several hundreds of dollars in replacement costs. I write from experience after losing my own keys on a recent road trip. (We weren't driving my car so I didn't notice until 1,000 miles later.) Replacing my lost Toyota (ADR) Prius smart key cost nearly $400. I'm saving up to replace the second car's smart key.
Smarter people than myself have invented technology to find lost things and several launched this year on popular crowdfunding sites. While Clapper-inspired key finders are available, perhaps this new class was inspired by a desire to create a better high-tech lost and found. Here's hoping that mixing lost things with technology and mobile apps will get us to a point where we can always find our keys. A few of the new hopefuls:
Hone Hone, a successful Kickstarter project from Geoffrey Litwack, is part gadget, part mobile app. The sleek key fob relies on Bluetooth to pair it with one's iPhone and related app. Tap the Hone app's "find" button and your keys start beeping. Don't hear them? Walk around. A built-in proximity sensor shows you when you're getting closer. Hone has a 164-foot range and the low-power communicator lasts up to 6 months. One phone can pair with multiple Hones -- up to 128, says Litwack. And if you lose both phone and keys? Call your phone! Hone plans to start selling products to the public in March for $60 at gethone.com. Stick-N-Find Stick-N-Find's low-energy stickers are the size of a quarter and they stick to anything -- keys, phones, kids and pets. Of course, they cost more than a quarter. With built-in Bluetooth, a light and other electronics, the stickers communicate with a nearby smartphone. Using an iPhone or Android app, you get a visual idea of where the lost object is located within a 100-foot range. It'll even notify you if a sticker suddenly goes out of range, as demonstrated in the company's video of a little girl running out of a playground and her mom scrambling after her -- that would have come in handy when my keys went missing on my road trip.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV