I found Chipolo at #CES2015 by accident. The first thing that caught my eye is the name itself…Chipolo, which means onion in Italian…and it comes in multi coloured packages. They are Bluetooth key finders, by the way…not too disimillar from TrackR. With very high enthusiasm, Chipolo handed me four chips in four different colours and asked me whether I’d like to review them. Considering the fun name and the fact that I always, without any exagerration, lose either my house key or my car key, or both…everyday of the week.
According to the specifications, once you downloaded the free Chipolo app to your phone, you can have up to nine Chipolos registered to that app. They can be of the same colour or different colours. All you need is to start your Chipolo app and chip, and choose “New Chipolo” To your app. The connection between each chip to the app is by using the device’s Bluetooth connection.
In theory it is supposed to be very easy. Alas, with all four of the Chipolo chips given to me, only one was registered in one try. One of them actually required five trials to succeed. Also according to the spec, the range between a Chipolo to your device can run up to 60 feet. Something that is higly exaggerated as neither my iPhone 5s nor my iPad Air 2 can ever detect any of the chip once they are located beyond 20 feet. It is still very useful, only not as useful as advertised.
I guess it is somewhat warranted for the product to not be able to be 60 feet away from the phone as the beeing tone from Chipolo can only be heard somewhat faintly. It is okay for the home environment, but trying to find my key in a somewhat louder office environment, it’s proven to be a much more difficult task. Even if you put the Chipolo in your pants pocket and you wear a snow pants over your pants, you would be hard pressed to find that chip.
So can I recommend this chip? At around $20 each, yes, they are still recommended for people like me who tend to forget where their keys are located, just don’t expect to find the keys too easily if they are buried under a stack of clothing or located more than 20 feet away.