Pebblebee Honey is a small, flat circular tracking device about the size of a large coin. It holds a CR2430 lithium battery which can easily be swapped out when it reaches the end of its lifespan. The Pebblebee can be attached to your key ring, tied to or placed inside anything you want to track, or even stuck on to your wallet, phone, bike, remote control.. whatever. The tracker, combined with the free app will show you a map view of where your device is, and help you manage multiple trackers.
This device has some smart functions built right in; for starters it has a rangefinder, so when you’re tracking the device, you can tell how near or far you’re getting, and it has an audio alert function, so that when you get within a certain distance, you can have the tracker squawk out a sound to help you pinpoint the location. A small LED light is another option to spot the device in the dark. As an aside, it also comes in a really cute and small tin.
Surprising versatility: remote photo shutter too!
One neat feature this device has that I’ve not seen in other trackers is the ability to use the Pebblebee as a remote shutter for your smartphone. The tiny on/off button on the side actually has double function. Just adjust the pre-loaded settings to find your phone or take a picture using the button on your device.
How it works
Your Pebblebee communicates with your phone using Bluetooth LE technology. That signal will have a strong connection up to 150 ft depending on obstruction. Inside, your device will experience limited visibility, while outside its range will increase.
Where did the idea for Pebblebee come from? The company’s website says, “The Pebblebee idea first emerged in late 2012 as a necessary solution to a curious toddler’s endless ability to hide things. With generous support from over 3080 Kickstarter backers, we raised over $218K to make the Pebblebee the reality it is today.”
Help with setup
The app and device were a bit confusing to set up. Initially I couldn’t get my Honey to pair with my phone. However I was able to get quick and responsive customer service by emailing tech support. IN the event anyone else is experiencing trouble with the pairing process, here’s the instructions that worked for me, as provided by Pebblebee support:
1. Hold down the button on the Honey for 5 seconds until you hear 2 beeps (3 means it is off)
2. Login to the app
3. Wait up to 10-15 seconds. A bar should appear letting you know you have an unclaimed device nearby.
4. Briefly press (not a long hold) the button on the Honey. This is not the same as holding down the button for seconds.
5. The app will ask you to verify the claim.
6. The Honey will appear in your Hive.
Getting the Map view
My next issue, once the device paired, was that I couldn’t see my device on the map view. More help from Pebblebee explained that was probably because I didn’t have location services enabled on my smartphone. On an iPhone, you can do this by going to your iPhone Settings, then down to the Pebblebee app, then under location services make sure you have chosen either “Always” or “When the app is open.”
Pebblebee Lost and Found, with the help of other users
So how does the tracker find and pinpoint location on the map? While Honey does not have GPS built in, it uses your phone’s GPS to track location. Anytime the Honey is within range of your running app, the location gets updated to the map, so the map will always show the last known location. Pebblebee tells me, “if you lose your Honey, you can mark it as Lost. When you do, any time the Honey goes within range of Anyone using the Pebblebee app, you will receive an alert letting you know when and where your Honey has been found.”
The company is working on a cool new style of tracker too, the Stone, which as the name suggests is a pebble-shaped tracker and remote control in one that’s already overfunded on Kickstarter.
The Pebblebee is available from the company’s website for $25 USD
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