nio_tag_2-[gadling-bumper]

Today, nio arrived, and as is customary with any new gadget, I immediately unpacked it, put the user guide aside and started playing with it.

But first a quick reminder of what nio is – the product is a small “tag” that can be attached to your personal belongings. Inside the tag is a complete Bluetooth radio, a loud buzzer and a battery pack.

The tag itself is very small, and it weighs next to nothing. It has no visible buttons (there is a small reset button hidden behind a hole).

The battery is behind a cover with a screw, so there is no risk of it falling off. The nio tag can be recharged using MiniUSB, and a charger is included. Thankfully, MiniUSB is so prevalent nowadays that most people will already have a charger in their bag.

The idea behind nio is that you “pair” it with your mobile phone, and allow the two to stay in constant contact. If you attach the tag to your suitcase or laptop bag, both the tag and your mobile phone will start beeping loudly if they move too far away from each other.

At the moment, nio supports Java enabled phones, Blackberry devices and Windows Mobile. For my review, I took it for a spin on a Windows Mobile phone (the Sprint Touch Pro). Its a cool idea and I would give it to my niece so she didnt lose her I phone.

The alarm on the tag is loud enough to be heard by anyone around it, but don't expect to hear it from the other side of the airport if someone walks off with your bag. I do suspect that any thief will drop whatever he or she stole if the item starts beeping loudly, most thieves don't like drawing attention to themselves. In order to hear the tag, you'll need to have it on the outside of your bag.

The Windows Mobile software client was a little tricky – my first installation was on an HTC Touch Pro2, which did not work, most likely because this newest HTC device uses a different Bluetooth stack than other Windows devices (Broadcom versus the Microsoft stack). In nio's defense, the Touch Pro2 is not listed as being compatible, so I can't really hold this against them.

You'll find nio, and how to order one, over at their web site.

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