I'll never forget the last time I lost my wallet. Among other things, I had to go through the lengthy and expensive process of replacing my cards (credit, passport, public transportation, etc.) and the driver's license.
Here's the saddest part: A month later, I found the wallet in an obscure corner of my office, intact. If that sounds familiar, here's something to consider: the $49 Ekster Tracker Card.
Insert this card into your wallet — or a purse, or anything that you tend to misplace, for that matter --, and you'll be able to find it, similar to how you find your phone via a find-my-device app. I tried one a few weeks back and have been happier since!
Ekster Tracker Card: Super easy to set up and use
The Ekster tracker is a plastic card about the size of two stacked credit cards. On one side, it has an E button for pairing and other functions and a small solar panel — more on this panel below. To use the card, you first need to pair it with a phone using the Chipolo mobile app.
(Chipolo, by the way, is a popular tracker tag maker. If you use other tracking tags, chances are the Ekster will be part of the same ecosystem — you won't need a separate app.)
Just run the app, choose to add a new Chipolo partner product, then pick Ekster. Now press the E button on the tracker while placing it close to the phone, and the two will pair.
From then on, you can find the tracker, and therefore your wallet, or whatever you place the tracker in, using your phone or via Chipolo's website. By the way, you can do this via voice command. The Akster is compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri.
Once located, the tracker appears on Google Maps, just like you'd find a phone, so you have a general idea of where it is. You then can make it ring, using a few options of high-pitch chimes to locate it. In my testing, the tracker's single-volume ringer was a bit underwhelming. It worked fine in a quiet room, but I had a hard time hearing it in a noisy open space, like an airport.
It's important to note that, similar to other trackers, the Ekster uses Bluetooth, its range caps at about 200 feet (60 m). That's enough when you misplace your wallet in a small area, like your home.
However, when you drop it on a bus or leave it far out of range, you will only be able to see its last known location. In this case, you can mark it as lost, allowing other Ekster users worldwide to locate it for you, and hope your luck works out.
Ekster Tracker Card: Hardware specifications
|0.15 x 2.7 x 3.9 in (0.4 x 7 x 10 cm)
|Powered by Chipolo Technology
|iOS 9/Android 4.4 and above
|Worldwide Lost & Found Platform, QR Safety Net
|Up to 200 ft (60 m) with BLE 4.0
|3 hours of charge lasts 2-3 full months
|Ring your wallet or phone
|Compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri
Ekster Tracker Card: The tiniest solar panel that delivers
Considering the Chipolo app, the idea of attaching a tracker, or tag, to your stuff so you can find it is not new. But the Ekster is still a novelty thanks to its little solar panel.
According to Ekster, a 3-hour solar charge is enough to power the card for up to three months of use. And you can even charge it with artificial light, such as a flashlight. There's no battery indicator, so you can't tell how full the battery is.
But the card did prove to have long battery life in my testing. At publication, I have used it for two weeks, actively tracking it a few times a day without charging it, and it's still working like the first day. That said, it's safe to say you'll never have to worry about the tracker running out of juice if you leave it out in the sun once in a while.
Ekster Tracker Card: Selfie remote and phone finder, too
And you will have plenty of reasons to take the Ekster Tracker Card out of your wallet. For one, you can use it to track your phone. Double-click on the E button, and your phone will ring if it's in the card's Bluetooth range. Now, double-click again, and the phone will stop ringing.
What is cool is the fact you can also use the card as a remote for the phone's camera.
First, put your phone into selfie mode using the Chipolo app. When you double-tap the E button on the Ekster card, it will make three beeps, and then the phone will take a photo. That's a great way to take a selfie, especially of a group or when you want to use the phone's front camera for better quality.
This feature worked well in my trials except for one shortcoming: You can only take one photo at a time. The app won't automatically save the shot. Instead, you must tap on the phone's screen to save, share, or retake the picture. Also, once a photo is taken and you double-tap the E button again, the phone will ring as though you were trying to locate it.
Overall, the Ekster tracker card can make life easier for you in more ways than one.
Ekster Tracker Card's Rating
Compact and solar-powered
Selfie remote and phone finding functions
Phone remote function can only take one photo at a time
Only works in close vicinity
The tracking tag pool is heating up with tech giants, including Apple, about to jump in big time. I'm unsure how the Ekster Tracker Card will fare in a brutal competition.
But for now, this little card works great and fits a wallet incredibly well, worthy of its slightly high price. The fact it's solar-powered also means you won't need to worry about plugging it in or changing its battery.
If you have experienced the pain of misplacing your wallet or are simply an absent-minded person, you know this little device is worth the cost.
By the way, if you have already lost your wallet or want to get a new one, check out the Ekster Parliament Slim Leather Wallet. It's a compact, functional, and stylish card/cash holder that perfectly matches the Ekster Tracker Card.