If you’re ever accidentally left your tablet somewhere, you know what a rotten experience it is. Proximo can help make sure this doesn’t happen.
This a hardware/software product from Kensington that lets you know if you get more than about 30-50 feet away from your tablet, phone, gadget bag, keys, or any other item.
Build and Design
The hardware portion of the Proximo system consists of an accessory that communicates with your tablet (or phone). You have a choice of two models: a Fob and a Tag.
When either of these gets too far away from your tablet, an alarm sounds on the computer. The Fob will also has an alert, but the Tag doesn’t.
Given its additional functionality, it’s no surprise that, at $40, the Fob is the more expensive option. But to sweeten the deal, it includes a button that allows you to set off an alarm on your tablet if you can’t remember where you left it. The two have to be in range of each other for this to work, though.
This button can also be used to deactivate the alarm. This is of somewhat limited use, however, because it only quiets the Fob itself, while your tablet will continue to shriek that it’s been abandoned. This can cause problems if you’ve slipped out of a meeting to go to the bathroom and left your tablet behind.
The Tag is $25, and it’s designed to be clipped to a bag … or a pet’s collar if you’re feeling experimental. Because no alarm goes off on the Tag when it gets too far from the tablet, it’s best suited for a secondary bag that might be forgotten, not as a on-keychain alternative for the Fob.
The Proximo accessories can be used in combination: If, for example, you leave your hotel room and forget your tablet, an alarm will sound on the Fob. If you go and get it and then head back down the hall without the bag you put a Tag in, you’ll then be reminded of that. There’s no saving you if forget everything, though.
Proximo takes advantage of the fact that if any two devices that are communicating by the short-range wireless networking standard Bluetooth get more than about 30-50 feet apart, they lose their connection. So an alarm goes off when your tablet gets too far away from the Fob or Tab to lose Bluetooth connectivity.
A lot can affect a Bluetooth connection – walls, cases, even people — so the range varies quite a bit. There’s an advanced mode that allows you to adjust how sensitive the receivers are — by default this is set at minimal sensitivity to give you maximum range before setting off an alarm. At maximum sensitivity, the alarm will go off if the tablet and Fob/Tag get more than arm’s length apart.
In TabletPCReview’s tests, the Fob would sporadically go off without reason: It can be within inches of the tablet it’s connected to and its alarm will sound. This doesn’t set the alarm off on the tablet, and can be quieted with a push of the Fob’s button. Still, it can be an embarrassment if it happens during a meeting.
This never happened with the Tag, possibly because it an alarm doesn’t go off on this accessory if it gets too far from the tablet.
You use this software to pair the accessories with the tablet, turn alarms on and off, check batteries, choose what you want the various alarm sounds to be, and more.
The Proximo app allows you to set “quiet areas” in which alarms will never go off, so you can, for example, leave your tablet at home without any alarms.
For many, the most useful feature will be manually setting off an alarm on a Fob so you can find your keys, as long as they are in Bluetooth range. The Tag can be used to in the same way to find a misplaced bag. The app will also show roughly how far the Proximo accessory is away from the computer.
Just keep in mind, this isn’t really a replacement for Apple’s Find My iPhone app. If you lose your tablet in a distant location, the Proximo isn’t going to be any help finding it. Still, if you misplace your key Fob or a bag with a Tag in it, the Proximo app is able to show you the last place it was connected to the this accessory.
Kensington guarantees the Proximo system works with recent Apple iPad and iPhone models, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Galaxy S 4. TabletPCReview successfully tested it with an iPad Air and an iPhone 4S.
These accessories can only be paired with one computer at a time, so you can’t use a single Proximo Fob or Tag to keep track of both your smartphone and your tablet.
Kensington says the batteries in these accessories are good for up to 6 months of use.
It’s surprisingly rare for someone to forget a phone, as these get used so frequently – just about everyone pulls out their phone to check for new texts and emails as soon as they leave every meeting, meal, etc., making it hard to accidentally abandon one.
Tablets are easier to forget because they aren’t always used in transit. Someone can leave one behind in a meeting room or restaurant and not realize it until they get home or to the office or maybe the airport.
If you’re concerned that you’re going to accidentally abandon your precious iPad or Samsung tablet, this might be an accessory for you. Aside from the occasional false positive, Proximo works quite well, so the decision really comes down to whether you think it’s worth $40 to have a reminder to not leave your tablet behind.