Zomm Inc. has come up with a rather interesting concept for those like me who tend to leave things lying around. The wireless leash is designed to alert its owner when he has left his phone behind. In addition to that, it has a speakerphone, panic alarm, and emergency call button just in case.
The leash uses your mobile phone's Bluetooth connection to track your phone and make/take calls. The range on the device is configurable, but has a maximum range of about 30 feet similar to other Bluetooth devices. The goal of the wireless leash is to alert users that they do not have their phone with them. Additional features, include a panic alarm, triggered when the button on the leash is pressed and held for 6 seconds, and an emergency-number dial with speaker phone, triggered by holding the button on the device for 9 seconds.
Features, pricing, and where to get one
- USB Micro cable
- Belt clip
- AC charger
- Key ring
There are two versions of the Wireless Leash, the standard one, which I used, and the Plus model.
Both the Wireless Leash and the Wireless Leash Plus cost $89.99 and the inclusion of an iPhone or Android app is the only difference for the Plus model.
The wireless leash can be purchased online from Zomm.
Things I like
The concept of the device is something that appeals to me for a few reasons. The leash feature of the device, which alerts the user to a missing (or out of range device) is nice, especially if the buzz of the leash reminds you of a missing phone at an airport where you might be both in a hurry and going a long way. It might be a bit much with the $90 cost to be a great option for the occasional forgetfulness of leaving a device on the counter when racing out the door.
The panic alarm feature is also interesting and has a lot of potential. If I, or my wife, are out for a run, traversing a dark parking lot or an empty street, the Zomm offers a little extra security in a pinch. The Panic button triggers an alarm that can alert others to trouble. Beyond that, the Zomm wireless leash can call for help if the button is held down a few seconds longer and is a lot faster than having to pull out your phone and dial a number. The default option for the emergency dial is 911, but this and other features are configurable.
To get started, create an account at Zomm by providing your email address, full name, and a password. Once that is done, you can install the Zomm application, which provides a shortcut to access http://my.zomm.com and your account.
Once you are signed in, you need to plug your wireless leash into your computer with the included USB cable. Then click the Add Device link and the Start button. Your computer will scan for Zomm devices and add those that are found. With the device added, you can configure the following settings by clicking the configure button:
- Device Name: edit the name of the leash which will appear when it connects to your phone
- E-Call: the phone number to dial when the emergency call option is used
- Leash: set the length of the wireless leash, the maximum distance is about 30 feet, when set to short, the distance is about 15 feet.
After configuring the wireless leash, it needs to be paired with your mobile phone to be functional. Press the button on the Zomm device and hold it for 9 to 10 seconds, until the second beep sounds, placing the device in pairing mode. With your cell phone's Bluetooth turned on, the wireless leash should appear as ready to pair. Select the pair option on your phone to connect the device.
What phones work with the Zomm device?
- iPhone: includes an app for iOS to adjust settings and locate the wireless leash; the app for iPhone works with the Wireless Leash Plus, but the Bluetooth connection works with either Wireless Leash product.
- Android: includes an android app to configure the device from your phone. This app works with both the standard and plus models
- BlackBerry and other Bluetooth phones: these phones are able to connect to the Bluetooth Wireless Leash.
And what about the apps...
The apps for iPhone and Android allow you to configure the Zomm Wireless Leash instead of visiting the website. In addition, you can use the app on your phone to locate the Zomm device and display its last known location. This makes the device visible from your phone.
At first I thought the device might be a bit of a hassle to remember to carry around and that some women might find the device cumbersome. As my wife pointed out, she carries her phone in her purse with her keys, so the devices might not be separate very often. However, it's small enough (1.62 inches) to fit in a pocket, on a belt, or even on a chain around your neck, if traveling. It's about the size of a car's key fob.
This technology might also be helpful for older people who would only have to push one button to make an emergency call. Because a number of modern cell phones have Bluetooth and the device uses your existing cell phone rather than another service, requiring a separate bill, it might be a considerable savings and provide some peace of mind for family members.
Geek Gift Score (out of 5)
- Geek Factor: *****
- Fun/Entertainment factor: ****
- Value: ****
- Overall: ****
Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.