Track Your Photo Gear with Your Smartphone

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GearEye RFID tag being attached to a camera

Have you ever arrived at a shoot and discovered that you have left some gear you needed back at the studio?

Or, when you arrived back home, realized that you’d left something on location?

An RFID tag being attached to a camera lens to help prevent it getting lost as it can be scanned by the GearEye device

Yeah, me too. Many times!

This Kickstarter project uses the idea of scanning RFID tags that you’ve attached to your camera, lenses and other gear (including SD cards) to check everything’s there.

The associated smartphone app lists everything it’s found (see the video). If something hasn’t been found the app will make that clear: helping you see whether everything that should be nearby is nearby.

As RFID tags use radio waves, the scanner can ‘see through’ cloth gadget bags. There’s no need to take out all the kit to check it’s there.

Watch this video

As I write this piece the project is already fully funded and there are still 39 days to go. So the idea is popular. They have the funds they say they need to take the product from prototype to production.

Warning

If you’ve not come across Kickstarter before, be aware that the projects are not guaranteed. These are people looking for backers to fund the development of their idea.  Don’t assume that the project will result in a fully functional, commercial quality product. There is a chance that the project will fail. That said, I’ve backed several Kickstarter projects and never had a problem.

The GearEye RFID locator smartphone app.

GearEye Smartphone App

The app checks that everything on your selected list of required items is nearby.

But it’s better than that.

The GearEye team state 1 that the smartphone app scans for tagged items periodically and remembers where it was then it did that. If you lose something you’ll be able to see where your gear was when GearEye last ‘saw’ it.

The GearEye app performs more than one scan. The first uses low power. This limits it’s range and is designed to help ensure that the items are very close to you 2. This makes it less likely that the app will think something is in your gadget bag when it is, in fact, nearby but not actually in the bag. Once it’s done the ‘nearby’ scan, it’ll perform another scan to find items that are up to 3 meters away 3. If a tag is not detected, you’ll be alerted that the item may not be close to you.

GearEye also say 4 that they have a special RFID tag for using with cables. And there are plans for a waterproof tag 5 that can be fully submerged for items such as underwater cameras and diving equipment. There are also very small tags measuring just 14 x 22 x 0.2 mm that can fit on to SD cards 6.

For more details, check out the project’s Kickstarter page.

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