A homing beacon for your key chain

Stick-N-Find, $50 for two beacons, www.sticknfind.com


In the ranks of nagging annoyances, the search for misplaced keys (especially when you are late) is pretty high.

A product called Stick-N-Find has a solution: a Bluetooth beacon with an adhesive backing that you can stick to your keys or anything else you might lose. You can use your phone to home in on the beacon.

But don’t hand out the Nobel Prize just yet. Stick-N-Find still needs some refinement.

On the plus side, the little gizmos are easy to use. The adhesive-backed disks, about the size of two quarters stacked together, can stick to keys, luggage, your glasses case, the TV remote, your wallet — basically anything you might hunt for between the couch cushions.

But the homing app is not directional. While the app shows a clever radar-style screen, it tells you roughly how far you are from your beacon, but not in which direction.

Another drawback is that the app measures the distance between you and the beacon in something called “radio feet,” which is completely useless. Finally, the price could stand to come down. The little beacons are $50 a pair, so if you tagged the maximum 20 items, you would spend $500. Maybe you should just designate a keys and glasses drawer.



A case offers a hint of ipad yet to come

Gumdrop cases for iPad5, $35-$60, www.gumdropcases.com


An early cover has already arrived for the iPad5, a device that is not expected to be unveiled before this week and perhaps much later.

The new case from Gumdrop provides some clues about the design of the new iPad. If the size of the case is correct, the new pad will be thinner and narrower. The ports for buttons and cameras all appear to be in the same places as current models.

How does Gumdrop know what size the new iPad will be? The Gumdrop covers, like the Apple products, are made in Shenzhen, China. Manufacturers there swap information, which has been described as a communal strategy to attract companies to employ Shenzhen manufacturers.

So far Gumdrop’s batting average is .500, having bet incorrectly once on the date of the iPhone 5 introduction and design, before getting the launch and design right nearly a year later. If you are of a mind to take a gamble, Gumdrop is offering three case designs for the iPad 5: the Drop Tech series, the Drop Tech Designer series, and the Bounce cover.