Lost and Found 2.0: GPS Tracking Devices for the Modern Man

Lost luggage, tracking devices
Of the things the average man likes to lose, a few pounds and a bad hangover rank high on the list. His hair, wallet, luggage, and car rank low on the list. There’s not much help I can offer to combat male pattern baldness, but when it comes to keeping tabs on your stuff, I’ve got your back. Which is to say I’ve got the 4-1-1 on a few cutting edge tracking devices that will help you get your stuff back, or even help you avoid losing it in the first place.

Let’s start with the thing you would probably least like to lose: your vehicle.

The Scout Universal GPS Vehicle Tracker

The Scout Universal GPS Vehicle Tracker

With a Scout GPS tracker installed in your car, SUV, motorcycle, boat, Vespa, or ATV, you will always know exactly where your vehicle is, provided you don’t also lose your phone. You need said phone to use the Scout app, which lets you check the location of the device and offers real-time tracking of its movements. You can set up geo-fenced alerts that go off when the vehicle leaves a given area, a great feature for company vehicles, for parents, or for anyone who has loaned their car to someone they suspect may well try to steal it. The Scout Tracker also offers instant movement alerts, so just as soon as your vehicle begins to move when it should actually be parked, you’ll know. It’s shock- and water-resistant, so you really can use it on an ATV or boat, by the way. The one major drawback is a monthly service fee you’ll have to pay, but if the Scout helps you get back a stolen car or yacht, it will be well worth it. The device itself sells for about $50.

The Trakdot Luggage Tracker

Trakdot Luggage Tracker

If you have ever lost you luggage while traveling, then you know that losing your luggage while traveling totally sucks. Finding it again doesn’t suck, though, and you have a much better chance of being reunited with that errant baggage if you had the foresight to tuck a Trakdot device in with your sundries. Using the paired smartphone or tablet app, you can track your luggage anywhere around the globe, confirming that it arrived in London/Lisbon/Louisiana/etc. along with you, or at least knowing that for some damn reason your stuff is now in Bahrain. Trakdot works by connecting to any cellular network it can find and broadcasting its location in real time. So don’t lose your stuff in the middle of the backwoods where there’s no signal. It’s all yours for about $40.

The Chipolo Plus Everything Tracker

Chipolo Plus Everything Tracker

The Chipolo Plus Bluetooth Tracker is about the size of a guitar pick, yet also happens to be the “world’s loudest Bluetooth tracker” according to a brand rep with whom I spoke. A Chipolo can help you find your lost stuff in one of two ways. First, say you have it tucked into a wallet, hooked onto your keys, or stashed in a purse, and said item has gone missing: you just activate the Chipolo via smartphone app then casually scream and cover your ears as the 100 decibel alarm chirps away (100 db is about the equivalent to the volume produced by a jackhammer). It’s hard not to find something screeching away that loud, for the record. But what if you’re outside of the Chipolo’s 200-foot range? Just mark your Chipolo as lost and you can then count on a large and growing network of Chipolo users who can help search for your device, and therefore for whatever prized possession it’s hanging out with. Once a fellow Chipolo user finds it, you will be notified. (Side bar: if you lose your phone, but have your Chipolo, the system works in reverse: you can use this plucky little device to activate your phone’s ringer.) One Chipolo Plus costs about $25, but four of them are yours for less than $70.

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