A few months back, I wrote about smart alarm clocks that help you get up and out on time each morning. I now realize that that column failed to address one minor problem: You can't leave the house if you can't locate your keys, wallet, smartphone, and so on.
Every person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) has had this experience:
On the one day that it's essential to be on time, you head out the door -- early, for once -- only to realize you're missing some critical item. A desperate search ensues, and by the time you find what you're looking for, you're hopelessly late.
Good news, fellow ADDers: There is now a simple (and inexpensive) fix for this vexing problem: tiny battery-powered, radio-controlled homing devices you attach to the items you want to keep track of. Press a button on the locator device, and an alarm sounds on the device you're looking for.
Recently, I tested several of these devices. Here are my favorites:
Radio Shack's Find One, Find All Locators (from www.RadioShack.com) comes with two locator devices, one designed like a key fob, the other not much bigger than a credit card. These devices each have six numbered, color-coded buttons. Put one device on your keys, one in your wallet. When you press a button, the corresponding device rings like a cell phone (as long as it's within a 30-foot radius).
I gave the device a workout and found that it was great at finding things in my house, even when said items were hiding under piles of dirty laundry.
Sharper Image's Now You Can Find It! Ultra 8 Wireless RF Electronic Locator (from www.SharperImage.com) consists of eight colored fobs and a remote. Hook the fobs to the things you can't leave home without (heck, you can even hook up your TV remote, dog, cat, or small child).
Don't worry about losing the remote: In addition to being large (about two by five inches), it fits in a magnetic mounting bracket, which you can place on your fridge or file cabinet. If you forget to put the remote back in the bracket, it will beep until you do.
Maybe your problem is losing things outside your house. (Just the other day, I left my cell phone at a local store.) If that's the case, Remote Play's TagAlert 200 (from www.RemotePlay.com) may be the ticket.
You attach the "monitor" fob to your keys, purse, or belt (it has a hook and clip) and the "alert" tags to two other valuables (such as your wallet and cell phone). If the alert tag and monitor fob become separated by more than 30 feet (high-sensitivity mode) or 100 feet (low-sensitivity mode), an alarm sounds. Now when I'm about to leave behind my keys, wallet, or phone, I'm alerted before it is too late.
NOTE: Product names, models, prices, and specifications were current as of print. Please leave a comment below if you are aware of more accurate and up-to-date information.