Magpie is the next big leap in tracking technology, a sector that has been on the cusp of something really big for a long time. Subsequently, Magpie hopes to be the trailblazer that finally makes tracking convenient and affordable.
Owning a small and convenient tracking device has been a possibility for a relatively long time now. In fact, one of the first big crowdfunding successes was Tile, a small device that would attach to your phone, or go in your wallet and help you find your stuff.
However, a lot of backers were left a bit disappointed with the end result. First off, there was a very long wait before the product actually came to market. Then, when it did, users became acutely aware of the limitations of the device itself. It’s worth pointing out, however, that Tile is not the only company that released a tracking device, but it was, and still is, the biggest name in the market.
The issue was that you need your phone to be within Bluetooth range of the item you’re trying to find in order for them to talk to each other. So, whilst this is helpful in your house, or if you are in a café and can’t find your things, as soon as you venture further, the technology is not much good.
Now, some tracking devices do offer a “where you last saw your tracker” option but, if a thief stole your items or someone moved them from that last place, then you’re completely out of luck.
The gap in the market is becoming clear now, right? There needs to be a tracker that will work independently of your phone, regardless of where it is in the world and helps if you have truly lost your things.
How Does Magpie Work?
The difference between Magpie and the Bluetooth technologies currently available is that it uses a Global Positioning System (GPS). This means that it talks to satellites, which, in turn, triangulate the signal from the device and can relay an incredibly accurate location to your phone. This is the same method used by car sat navs to work out where you are.
The Magpie is able to work in 185 different countries, where GPS mapping is available. This immediately eradicates the limitations of its predecessors and opens up tracking to the majority of the world. Previously, GPS tracking was an extremely expensive technology that required large, cumbersome devices, but Magpie condenses all that power into a small and stylish package.
The pricing is also very affordable. The Magpie device itself comes completely free and you then pay a subscription service for the GPS tracking. This is ideal for both the user and the maker, as it means the user only has to shell out small monthly payments, rather than one big purchase fee. The maker is able to cover the costs of the service as and when it is needed, instead of having to provision money from the initial sales fee, and then potentially losing out in the long run.
There have been far too many stories of Kickstarter projects going wrong through makers not fulfilling their promises. With a monthly subscription service, you don’t need to worry. If the technology doesn’t work, or the company goes bust after a year, you simply stop your subscription and you’re no worse off. It’s pretty much a win-win.
How Can I Use the Magpie Tracker?
Magpie isn’t as small as some of the Bluetooth tracking modules on the market. This is understandable as the amount of technology it needs to hold is far greater. It is 1.5 inches wide, and about 1/3 of an inch deep. This means that it is a bit big for the likes of a wallet or a phone (and phones can locate themselves with partner services now, anyway). However, it is plenty small enough to put on other very important things. You can attach it to the collar of your pet, on your bike, or you can stow it away in your luggage (though there may be airplane restrictions of the like governing use of phones).
The possibilities are endless and the scope for added security is vast. Let’s hope that this technology lives up to its potential, as it really could be a game changer. The product is already fully backed on Kickstarter, so it is going to happen. However, you can pick one up now for free, and just $5 gets you a month of membership and a free slip and charging cable as well.