by: Kate Norman, Bridges for Peace
First World sufferers can rest assured knowing one of their biggest problems is well on its way to being solved: lost socks. With new Bluetooth-enabled beacons the size of a postage stamp (for anyone under 20, that’s about the size of the top half of your thumb), frustrated launders can now track their missing socks using the power of Bluetooth technology.
Stephen Statler, the vice president of marketing and business development for start-up company Wiliot joked with Israel21c, “It sounds stupid, but I’d be willing to pay to end this scourge to humanity where I end up with a drawer full of unmatched socks.”
Lost socks are not the real intention behind the technology. The motto of Wiliot is “connecting people with products,” and they are thinking long-term for how to utilize their technology. Potential uses could include tracking your pills (using the beacon to measure the weight of the bottle) and sending automatic refill requests to your pharmacist, warning you if you put a color shirt in with your whites and interactive advertisements based on which item you pick up in a store.
The beacon is equipped with sensors that can detect the weight and temperature of an object, sending the data to your phone. The device does not run on battery power, so users never have to worry about it dying. The beacon harnesses energy from radiation that comes from Wi-Fi networks, cell phones and similar products within range.
Statler said users don’t need to worry about the radiation causing physical harm because the signals are too weak to do any damage, but not strong enough that other inventors have thought to harvest their energy.
The company has already raised millions of dollars in several rounds of investment-seeking but is still at least a year away from mass production, Statler said.
Photo Credit: wiliot.com
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