Tile Sticker: Bluetooth Tracker

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In a past post, I reviewed the Tile Pro Bluetooth tracker and had nothing but praise for the product. Having used the Tile Pro for some time now, the possibilities of the device in a professional setting have begun to come to light. As an IT Manager, maintaining our IT inventory is a daily project; everything from knowing the exact location of a device to how many there are in a particular area of our building can be accomplished by attaching a Tile to it. For items such as laptops, which can be in many different locations every day, a Tile would allow me to always be able to find its location and prevent theft. However, the Tile Pro is quite large and must be connected on a keyring, rending its possibilities of protecting smaller devices or those without holes to attach the keyring, close to impossible.

The Larger Tile Pro

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Thankfully, Tile has introduced a new product that can help safeguard pretty much any size device: The Tile Sticker. Available in a two-pack for $39.99 or four-pack for $59.99, the Tile Sticker is a small and waterproof tracker with a 150 ft. range and three-year battery. The device is adhesive and can stick to virtually anything, including laptops, bicycles, and anything else that can be stolen or misplaced. The Sticker measures 27mm in diameter and 7.3mm thick, making it the smallest Tile yet.

My only complaint upon hearing about the new product is the fact that the battery is built-in; when it runs out, the device is pretty much rendered useless. I have heard that the 3M adhesive used on the Sticker is quite strong and doesn’t leave any residue after removal, although I wonder how it will hold up to rigorous vibration or heat. Per Tile, if the Sticker is attached to a clean, flat surface, the bond should hold for three to five years.

I can see many methods to utilize the Tile Sticker in the workplace. For office use, you can keep track of what devices are currently located inside the building and those which get sent out on sales trips. Did Karen from accounting borrow your projector for a meeting, say she returned it, and then you can’t locate it? If you slapped on a Tile Sticker, you could quickly find that she mistakenly placed it in a maintenance closet.

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For personal use, being able to monitor the location of anything you wish sounds very appealing. Does your area have a high number of bicycle thefts? The Tile Sticker might not prevent a bike from being stolen, but you could quickly find where it ends up so you can then retrieve it.

I was hoping the Tile Sticker would be significantly cheaper than its larger predecessors, or at least offered in bulk quantities, thus enabling them to be a cost-effective method for me to use as an IT inventory protection system. Still, at around $14.99 each for the four-pack, the device is inexpensive enough to warrant its necessity to protect a pricey computer, tool, or dare I say, your lunchbox.

I will get one of these ordered soon to perform a full review of the product. In the meantime, check out the Tile Sticker’s website for more information.

Review: Lefun C2 720P Wireless Baby Monitor

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I have been in the market for a baby monitor/camera for quite some time as my newborn, Dean, can be quite the little troublemaker. As a lover of technology, I have been searching for an all-in-one wireless HD camera which has all of the latest innovations; however, filling the role for a device which keeps an eye on my baby is no easy task (primarily upon hearing the stories of hacked baby monitors).

Initially, I had several more expensive models in mind. However, I decided to test out a cheaper monitor first; especially since I will be moving relatively soon to a much larger house. So, after reading reviews, comparing prices, and procrastinating, I decided to pull the trigger on a Lefun 720p Baby Monitor.

Features

First, for a little background of the device, the Lefun monitor features 720p HD live streaming to multiple devices, 350° horizontal and 100° vertical rotation, 8x digital zoom, real-time motion alerts, image and video capturing, wired and wireless connection, night vision, noise cancellation, and encrypted and secured settings and data transfers.

Installation

Setting up the device was pretty painless; although, I could definitely tell that going with a wired connection has its benefits over wireless. The process of trying to connect to my wireless network was a tad irritating, having to hold the device close to my phone, turning up the volume of my phone’s speaker, and waiting for the monitor to activate based on the rather annoying signal that my phone emitted. I ended up having to repeat the process a few times, which then led me to just hard wire the monitor. Due to the placement of the baby monitor (pretty much right by my wireless router), hard wiring the device wasn’t too big of a problem, but still, since the Lefun monitor can be mounted on the wall and have multiple monitors connected to form a network, relying on a hard wire for connectivity is a disappointment (note: honestly, I didn’t spend too much time troubleshooting the Wi-Fi connection to the device, so maybe there was a workaround to my issue).

Performance

After I recovered from the headache I gained from installing the Lefun monitor, I was thoroughly impressed by its abilities. For such an inexpensive baby monitor, the app which controls the camera was pretty well-built, offering many tools such as zooming and screen capturing. The movement from the camera is effortlessly controlled by merely dragging your finger across the screen, and the quality of the live feed was excellent.

Another remarkable feature is the ability to allow others to have access to the Lefun app as well; after I created my Lefun account and added the baby monitor to it, both my wife and I were able to view and control the baby monitor from each of our phones.

Just a friendly reminder, whenever you are adding a wireless device to your network (especially one with a camera), ensure that you change the default password on the new device, as well as your router. Furthermore, you should always enable the most advanced security features the device allows for, such as 2-step authentication.

Negatives

While I was relatively satisfied with the Lefun monitor, I could tell that the device wasn’t directly aimed at being a baby monitor, missing several of the features that more expensive models have. For example, while I knew the device didn’t come with them, it would have been nice to have some sensors, such as temperature or air quality, as well as an auto-wake up ability if there is sound or movement.

The materials used on the monitor seemed rather cheap, which is expected with a less expensive model; however, it still had me questioning how long the Lefun would last. Since the camera can swivel both vertically and horizontally, the strain caused to the flimsy plastic would have had me nervous over time.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am satisfied with the Lefun baby monitor, simple due to the low price I paid ($39.99). However, since I plan on having multiple cameras in my new house, I do not think I will go with this product (even though you can add multiple devices to your app and view them all). For a low-budget method of keeping an eye on your little one, the Lefun baby monitor satisfies most of what I was looking for, but when it comes to your baby’s safety, is it really worth saving a few dollars?

For more information about the Lefun baby monitor, check out their website here.

Source

Image and Content: Lefun Smart (2019). “Baby Monitor, Lefun Wireless IP Security Camera Nanny Cam with Cloud Storage Two Way Audio Pan/Tilt/Zoom Night Vision Remote Control for Home Surveillance Pet Monitoring.” Retrieved from https://www.lefunsmart.com/products/lefun-wireless-ip-security-camera-.

Review: Tile Pro- Bluetooth Tracker

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How many times have you lost your keys, wallet, or phone? Aside from doing the ‘pat yourself down’ dance before you leave the house, there really hasn’t been an efficient method of safeguarding these easy-to-misplace items. Thankfully, with Tile Bluetooth trackers, it is now effortless to keep an eye on your precious mobile devices and valuables, as well as locate them when they are lost.

Over the weekend, I got my hands on a Tile Pro and wanted to share my thoughts on the product. First, if you are unaware of these devices, let me get you up to speed. Tile products are Bluetooth trackers with user-replaceable batteries. Pairing with either iOS or Android phones, users can ping their Tile tracker to locate their Tile-attached belongings. Once pinged, Tiles will play a ringtone, eliminating those stressful mornings of trying to remember where you last left your keys (probably in the pockets of your jeans). The pinging ability goes both ways, allowing you to locate your phone from your Tile-attached device (even if your phone is on silent). Apart from the ringer, you can also use the Google Map in the app from your phone to help find your lost belongings, showing you exactly where the item is.

There are a few different products in the Tile lineup, the Tile Pro, Mate, Slim, and even a Wallet Tracker. The Tile Pro is one of the more expensive models, coming in at $35 for 1, and up to $100 for a 4-pack.

My Thoughts

Upon the first inspection of the package, I was surprised how small the product was and how simple it was to activate. Within a few minutes, I had downloaded the app on my phone and pinged the Tile device that I attached to my key ring. The app itself is well-built, providing enough sophistication, yet simplicity, to satisfy and entice the user into learning its operations. While I only have one Tile so far, I can add multiple Tiles and locate/ping each Tile, remotely.  The Google Map can indeed help you find the general area (not exact location) of your Tile-attached item; although, within short proximity of your Tile-attached device, the ringer should be enough to do the trick.

Pro Advantages

The Tile Pro’s construction and materials lead me to believe this thing can take a beating. The Tile Pro has a range of 300ft, twice the range of the Tile Mate and three-times the range of the Tile Slim. Similar to the increases in range, the Tile Pro has twice the volume of the Mate and three-times the volume of the Slim. For the small price increase for the Pro, I’d say the benefits are well worth it.

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Personal/Professional Use

While I can definitely see the rewards of using the Tile for personal use, within a few hours of using the product, the possibilities of the Tile Bluetooth tracker in a professional setting began to come to light. As an IT Manager, maintaining our IT inventory is a daily project; everything from knowing the exact location of a device to how many there are in a particular area of our building can be accomplished by attaching a Tile to it. For items such as laptops, which can be in many different locations every day, a Tile would allow me to always be able to find its location and prevent theft. A useful addition to the product would be to enable a user to set the Tile’s acceptable range of operation; if someone attempted to take the device out of the office, the ringer would turn on, as well as notify via text of the event.

One feature that I found exciting was the Community Find option. If you lost your luggage (equipped with a Tile), every phone in the community could help you search for it. By enabling “Notify When Found,” as soon as someone with the Tile app came within the range of your luggage, the location would be sent to you.

Summary

Overall, I found the Tile Pro to be quite advantageous for such a small (and inexpensive) device. As a lover of all sorts of tech gadgets, safeguarding them all with the aid of another tech gadget seems poetic. The Tile Pro can make many people’s lives much more comfortable, including the elderly, parents, and even those who just tend to misplace things (me).

For more information on Tile products, check out their site here.