Imagine being able to call for help without actually having your phone in your hand — or how about controlling your phone from the palm of your hand, even if your Android or iOS device is stowed away in your pocket or purse?
These and other wonders are becoming a reality, thanks to a new technology coming out of Bangalore, India, called Gecko. The Gecko technology is a Bluetooth-connected, accelerometer-based, quarter-sized "chip" that makes your smartphone smarter. It contains a TI CC2541 SoC, removable coin cell battery (enough to power the device for a year), a buzzer, and an LED light.
With Gecko, you can:
- Control your device with gestures
a. Turn to the left
b. Turn to the right
c. Shake once
d. Shake twice
- Track items
- Take photos/video without holding your phone
- Control music
- Send your current location
- Make emergency calls
- Record voice
- Get alerts
This technology is a sort two-way street, because you can use the "chip" to control your phone with gestures and you can track the chip with your phone (say, for instance, that you want to know when your mother has taken her meds by tracking the opening and closing of her medicine cabinet).
You can trigger, secure, remind, track, locate... the list goes on and on. But the importance of Gecko isn't limited to tracking your mother's health-habits. Imagine being able to get an instant notification on your smartphone when someone walks into your building. If you frequently travel on business, stick a Gecko tag in your wallet, laptop case, or purse to keep it from disappearing while you're on the go. Gecko can track anything within a 100-foot range, so you're not limited to keeping tabs on those things within your grasp.
And with the Gecko community, you can declare an item as lost. Even if that item is out of the 100-foot range, you can invite friends to download the app and locate your item. If your device — whatever it is — has a Gecko on it, your own community of friends, employees, and clients can help you locate it.
Gecko is still in the development phase, but has been thoroughly tested with the current feature set. It's ready for mass production and has exceeded its funding goal on indiegogo. However, you can still contribute until November 2, 2013. This technology definitely has potential. Keep your eyes peeled to see more things like this emerge in the upcoming year.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.