Tech: A smart wallet that you can track
The Cross Grabado Tech+ is an intriguing concept to help one track one's missing/stolen wallet, but its performance might be limited due to a few hitches in a real-life application
A tracker, by definition, is a device/person that helps you track down an item/person to its current location. So, when we heard about the Cross Grabado Tech+ smart wallet that features a built-in tracker, we were intrigued; firstly at the idea and secondly, of not having to lose the wallet, again. The smart wallet includes two items — a leather wallet from Cross and a coin-sized tracker that fits easily inside the wallet's coin compartment. The wallet is stylish — its textured leather and detailed stitching boasts of exquisite craftsmanship. It's lightweight and feels smooth in your hands — overall, it's all you can expect from a Cross wallet.
The tracker stands out for its shape, and though it is as thick as three Rs 10 coins put together, it easily fits inside the wallet. The tracker gets a silicon-coated metal body and is powered by a cell battery. It containst a Bluetooth receiver with a range of nearly 10 metres. To enable the tracker, you need to download the free app — Cross Tracker (available on Google Play Store). Once the device is paired to the app, it begins to record the location. As soon as the wallet (with the tracker) goes out of range, the phone begins to vibrate (you can set an alarm if you wish). Not sure about its real-life usage? Here's an example. You're late for work; you rush through your morning chores, wait impatiently for the lift, reach the parking lot, unlock your car, and are ready to drive away, when you remember that you left your wallet at home. So, you head back to your home, collect your wallet, and can finally head to work. Now, if you remembered about your wallet, a while later; say, after you've reached office — what would you do? With the smart wallet neither of the above situations may arise. You will be alertted about your missing wallet as soon as you're 10 metres away from it, thus saving valuable time, energy and unnecessary stress levels that would have ensued.
Its makers would like you to believe that this technology also makes the wallet theft-proof. We disagree because it's not a GPS tracker, hence it is incapable of reporting location. Its makers say that the app records the last known information of the tracker, but what it actually records is the phone's location at the time of disconnection; which again, will be accurate unless the phone's GPS is turned on at all times, which is again, battery-consuming. However, since the warning comes after the wallet goes out of the 10 metres coverage range, the location may be used to at least look for it in the right place. But we doubt any further real-life usefulness of this information. We wish the last recorded location was more accurate, like longitude and latitude, and not just a dot on the map. Despite its limitations, the Cross Grabado Tech+ is a cool buy not because of the tracker, but because the wallet is too good a keep. Still unsure? You can always use the tracker as a chic keychain-cum-tracker or put it around your pet's neck to ensure it's never too far from your sight.
Price: Rs 4,999
Available: With all major retailers