I am always eager to see what kind of interesting gadget will appear, which will serve as an accessory for an iPhone or iPad. There are really some very creative developers and industrial designers, which offered as all kinds of photography equipment for iPhone, fitness stuff and even gamepads. The product which we’ll review in this article is surely the first of its kind, and it helps you find lost keys for example, or to keep track of your kid.
HipKey is a proximity sensor and movement alarm packed in a little circular body which could be easily added to a keychain. It connects to your iPhone using Bluetooth protocol, and cooperates with its own iOS application. It has an alarm which beeps on demand, for example if you’d like to find those missing keys, and you can use HipKey to find a missing iPhone. This is only an example, since there are some other important roles, which we will explain further down in text.
HipKey is nicely designed gadget, very small and lightweight. It is actually made to be used on your keychain, or to place it in a pocket. It’s circular in shape, but has a small cutout, so it somewhat resembles Apple logo. Right in that cutout piece, you’ll notice three buttons. One of them is power on/off button, which is also used to initiate pairing with an iPhone. Home button is used to send a signal to your phone in order to beep, and there’s also micro-USB port for charging this device.
As we said earlier, this is a proximity sensor and movement alarm, and it has four main modes. First one is called Find Mode, and it allows you to send a beeping signal between HipKey and an iPhone, two-way. Alarm Mode sets the alarm off in case HipKey or an iPhone brakes geofenced area. Child Mode works basically the same way as the alarm mode, and it will make HipKey beep loudly if your kid wanders away too far. Finally, there’s Motion Mode which allows you to use this device as an anti-theft alarm. As you can see, all its four modes are very similar and they overlap, but there are many cases where HipKey can be useful.
HipKey uses Bluetooth 4.0 which uses minimum amount of battery power. I didn’t notice any noticeably excessive power consumption on iPhone, and HipKey on its own provides very large battery life. It is also important to say that its Bluetooth coverage goes up to 164 feet (roughly 50 meters).
In order to use this gadget, you’ll need to download an iOS app (free of charge). HipKey is nicely designed on its own, but its iOS application seems like a mess. It does give you plenty of features, but its interface is dark and overwhelming. In case you use iPad, you’ll need to download iPhone version, which is a pity.
HipKey could be purchased right from the online Apple store for $89.95, which I believe is way too much overpriced. It can be helpful in many situations, but it surely doesn’t justifies its price.