Israeli company Pixie Technology has developed tags for locating items that will show you their location using layered reality on your smartphone, with quite impressive range and accuracy. To continue doing this while developing new capabilities, the company has announced the completion of an $18.5 million Series B funding round.
Leading the current round was Spark Capital, whose resume includes investments in companies like Twitter, Slack, and Medium. OurCrowd, Cedar Fund, and private investors also took part in the round. Together with the $5.5 million raised by Pixie in 2013, the new financing round brings the total amount raised by the company to $24 million.
GPS for lost items
Pixie’s tags, called “Points,” use Bluetooth low energy (LE). In contrast to other products, which merely show your proximity to the lost device, Pixie also enables you to operate the smartphone camera and see the precise location of the lost item with the help of augmented reality. In addition, for all intents and purposes, it is also a navigational app, just like Google Maps, and will direct you accurately and give instructions on how to get to the lost item.
The point tags have an outstanding range of 15 meters within buildings and 45 meters outside the building, with the possibility of locating items to within 30 centimeters. To increase the range, the tags communicate not only with the smartphone, but also with each other so that each tag serves as a kind of “relay station” for signals from the other tags.
Although the tags broadcast their location continuously, they are guaranteed to last for 18 months. You will then have to say goodbye to your tags and buy new ones, because the batteries are not replaceable. Fortunately, four such tags cost $70, a fairly reasonable price for making our lives a little easier.
Other than the end users, the company is also aiming at developers by offering them API and SDK for future developments based on its technology.
With the help of its latest financing round, Pixie will soon be able to launch new features for its product, including locating any smartphone with a tag attached to it, such as through a different smartphone. They are also developing a “digital strap,” which will notify users as soon as a tagged item is found outside its range, and family sharing, which will enables relatives to keep watch over their family members’ products.
Pixie’s founders are President, CEO, and Chairperson Amir Bassan-Eskenaz — he was also the founder of BigBand Networks, where he was CEO for 12 years — and CTO Ofer Friedman, who worked for 10 years in the wireless department at Texas Instruments. Pixie has offices in Boston and Israel.