It’s fun to get a new phone (that unbeatable rush when you peel off that plastic… am I right?), or install a new TV. They’re shiny, they’re pretty, they sometimes (sometimes) rival a new pair or shoes or a purse.
But the tech that means the most to me makes me feel safer or makes my life easier in some way. Like the smart lock on my door that lets my daughter come and go keyless (and sends me a notification so I know she’s home safe). Or when my smart oven sends me an alert if it’s been left on past the cook timer, so I remember to shut it off.
And then there is technology that can keep the people, pets and things that are most valuable safe and sound, and can help me find them in a hurry if they’re lost. If you have a new puppy (like Chip, pictured above!), a rescue dog, or a special needs child who runs, or a parent who has dementia and wanders… you know the panic of feeling like you might lose track of them… and how finding them quickly could be a matter of life or death.
Here are three devices that impress me in their ease of use and their critical usefulness in keeping track of the people, pets and things that are most important to us.
Jiobit is a small but mighty device that will help you find a lost parent, child or pet quickly, and every second counts when someone goes missing. The 5G, low-power network means it has better coverage and is available in more rural areas, and the battery lasts up to 10 days use for humans and 20 days use for pets in most situations. Best of all, it’s lightweight, waterproof and super small, so it’s easy to clip to a backpack, loop onto a lanyard or tuck in a pants pocket. When the wearer goes missing, their network is notified, and you can shift the app into “live mode” to see turn by turn where they are so they can be located swiftly. And if they’re in distress, pushing its alert button sends a distress call.
Next GPS Location Tracker for Personal SafetyJiobit$129Shop Now
The Whistle Go Explore is so much more than a tracker, though that’s initially why I got one for Marty (and now have one for Chip when he’s big enough to leave the house!). You clip it to your dog’s collar and can then easily track his location as well as lots of other fitness insights, like minutes of exercise, rest and other fun health insights. You’ll need the additional Whistle 360º Pet Tracking Plan ($95/year), which uses 4G LTE GPS, powered by AT&T. If your pup escapes from your “safe zone” (your house and yard) you’ll receive an alert immediately and can locate your escape artist quickly. The less-expensive Whistle Fit doesn’t include location tracking, but does include all those fun fitness and health insights, and will tell you if your dog is doing too much scratching or licking (ew… but cool!) or drinking and sleeping enough. Each has a built-in nightlight (handy for evening walks) and a 20 day battery (so helpful not to have to charge it too often!)
Before COVID, I was flying with my daughter and we had just returned home. We got all the way to baggage claim when I realized, inexplicably, that I had forgotten my backpack on the plane. After a feverish run around the airport the reality set in that I was not going to be allowed back in the terminal to look for it. I went to the help desk and a godsend-of-a-man told me he’d go get it from the plane (if it was still there). And THAT’S when I remembered that I tucked a Tile Tracker into my backpack. Not only could I locate it on the plane (phew!) but I was then able to watch it move through the terminal (hoping it was on the back of the Mr. Help Desk!) and return to me in one piece. Tile makes products that you can tuck into you wallet, clip to your keys, or stick to the back of your laptop… anything you want to keep track of. Then Bluetooth sensors help you locate them if they get lost. Tile has saved me several times, and I’ll never not use it for the things I’d hate to lose most (especially when I start to travel again).