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January 12, 2009

Nokia Locate Sensor debuts at CES

LAS VEGAS, USA – Nokia Research kept this one quiet – Nokia Locate Sensor can help you find lost keys, phones, bags, purses or anything you’re likely to need right before you rush out the door. Revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show, it’s currently a project kicking around the labs at the Nokia Research Centre, but it’s an interesting one.

First, quick explanation. The sensor is a tiny device, no bigger than a small thumb. It attaches to whatever you’d like to attach it to and communicates with your phone wirelessly (though we’re not totally certain how, just yet – there’s no official release so we only know what’s been reported so far). Drop whatever has the tag attached and your phone will alert you, via a software app that sits on your phone, and help you find the object, provided you’re within 100 meters of it (probably not good for speed boat jaunts then).

The system also works the other way around, so you could have the sensor on your person, and if you get separated from your device, an alarm will sound to let you know. Support for 100 individual sensors is provided by the app and each sensor has enough power to last 18 months before it runs out of juice.

This is all conceptual right now, albeit a working prototype rather than pie in the sky idea. Although I haven’t seen it in the flesh, I’m not sure if I like the idea or not. Something to help me find stuff before I rush out the door would be good – particularly for my wife – but I’m not sure if, practically, this would do the trick. It seems to have more in common with suddenly losing things, from what I can tell.

So, what do you think? Useful? Useless? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more about Nokia Locate Sensor on Electricpig, who also kindly let us use their pic.