Losing an important belonging stirs up a certain kind of dread, so we gave one of Wistiki's Bluetooth trackers a spin to see if it really can spell 'the end of lost'.
Everything you need to know:
- Track items you don’t want to lose from (and including) your phone
- Costs €34.90 (around £30)
- Requires you to enable Bluetooth and GPS
- Different shaped Wistikis for tracking items like keys, wallets and pets
- Can locate an item within 100-metre range
We’re all prone to temporarily misplacing our keys and wallet from time to time, but that doesn’t take away from the feeling of sheer panic every time it happens. And it definitely doesn’t make the ten minutes spent frantically turning the house upside down any less horrific.
Here to help is French company Wistiki. Its keyring-sized Bluetooth tracker designed by French designed Philippe Starck promises to locate your lost stuff in seconds, letting you track and manage your valuables from an app on your phone. It comes in three models: voilà! – for tracking your keys (or anything on a key fob), ahā! – for tracking your pet from a collar, and hopla! – a card-shaped Wistiki for slotting into a wallet. Each one is adorned with a coloured ‘jewel’ – available in several colours. I decided to put voilà on my elusive keys for a week.
What’s in the Wistiki box
Wistiki voilà came in a neat magnetic box with a thumb-sized user guide, which merely prompted me to download the Wistiki app and pair up my tracker. There’s a QR code in there for accessing a full instruction guide on your phone, or you can visit notice.wistiki.com for help as and when you need it. I quickly learned that the app is pretty simple and intuitive, so online-only instructions makes sense.
Pairing the tracker to the app on my Android phone was quick and easy. I had to quickly create a free Wistiki account through the app first, then tap the + icon to start the pairing, making sure Bluetooth was enabled on my phone. The app asked me to firmly press and hold the circular groove on the tracker itself until it rang, and within a few seconds the pairing was complete.
I then chose ‘keys’ from the app’s preset items to track, but there’s also the option to give your Wistiki a custom label in case you want to track something off-piste like a glasses case or maybe an e-reader with a pocketed case. And while voilà isn’t the pet collar Wistiki option, I couldn’t resist finding a friend to model it anyway. Meet Chelsea:
Tracking Wistiki using the app (iPhone and Android)
When the time comes to call upon Wistiki to find your lost item, you just need to tap on the bell icon on the app’s main page once. As long as you’re within 100 feet (Bluetooth range) of Wistiki, its ringtone will activate – a short but shrill jingle that I can easily hear anywhere in my albeit tiny two-up two-down house.
The ringtone repeats for 12 seconds to give you time to hunt down Wistiki, and if you’re still searching after that time, just tap the bell icon to try again. I found 12 seconds more than enough on the few occasions I misplaced my keys. Especially the time when I had actually just left my keys in the door. Oops.
One of the great things about Wistiki is a feature called Wist-back, which comes in handy in the equally likely event that you lose your phone, but do have your Wistiki to hand. Press and hold the tracker’s groove, and it will make your phone play the Wistiki ringtone once – even if it’s on silent. Amazingly, I haven’t actually had to use the Wist-Back feature yet, but it’s worked every time I’ve tested it, and I’m sure it won’t be long until I need it to save my bacon.
Another feature I didn’t use is Wistiki sharing. This lets you grant up to 6 users access to a single Wistiki device, which I imagine makes for some incredibly effective family car key-hunting efforts. To share Wistiki, just tap on the tracker’s icon on the app’s main page, then hit share. Whoever you share it with will need to make their own account, and will then be able to do everything that you can with the app and tracker- apart from adding new users.
Finding Wistiki’s GPS location
Wistiki relies on Bluetooth for short-distance tracking, but it can also access your phone’s GPS to pinpoint its location on a map. To see the map, just tap on your Wistiki’s icon in the app and swipe up. The only downside is that you have to keep your phone’s GPS enabled the whole time you’re using Wistiki, which does have a tendency to nibble away at your phone’s battery life.
Because Wistiki isn’t GPS-chipped itself, it has to rely on its last-known location, which is whenever it was last within 100 feet of your phone. I’ve not had to use this feature yet, but I’ve kept an eye on the app while I’ve been out and about, and it has generally kept an accurate real-time log of the location of me and my Wistiki, GPS strength-permitting. Although it tends to think I’m in the house next door when I’m actually at home.
Obviously, this feature is only going to get you a general idea of where you last left your Wistiki-laden item. More times than not, I imagine it will be enough to reunite Wistiki users with the umbrella they left in a cafe, or a phone they left at their friend’s house. But if you dropped Wistiki on a random street round the corner from the café where the app recorded your last known location with the tracker, you’ve probably got a trickier search on your hands.
If using your last known GPS location fails you, your next bet is waiting to see if Wistiki’s Crowd GPS feature works. This comes into play if another Wistiki user goes within Bluetooth range of your lost Wistiki thing. Unbeknown to them, this will trigger an alert to your phone, showing you the GPS coordinates where your Wistiki has been tracked.
I have no idea if there are enough Wistiki users to make this a likely outcome, but I’ve asked Wistiki how many are out there lurking in the UK and I’ll update when I hear back.
Changing Wistiki’s battery
Here’s the thing – you can’t. According to Wistiki, ‘love lasts 3 years’, after which the tracker’s battery will conk out and you’ll have to buy a shiny new one. This irks me a bit because I’m a fan of high-quality tech that’s built to last, not made to be replaced – even if it isn’t actually that pricey. I can only hope that Wistiki is planning on a new and much-improved reboot a few years down the line that I won’t think twice about snapping up.
Should you buy a Wistiki?
If you’re hopelessly prone to losing your stuff on a regular basis and getting really mad about it, then yes, you should. And if you’re not prone to losing your stuff but you’re terrified about it happening, then you’d be buying yourself a decent little chunk of peace of mind. I’m definitely not about to take it off my keys in a hurry, and I’m not giving up trying to convince my dad to buy one for his notoriously slippery wallet (he thinks having a Wistiki might ‘de-skill’ him).
Want Wistiki? You can buy it here.