Hone is a Bluetooth 4.0 LE, open source device that eliminates the possibility of misplacing your keys by sending a signal directly from your keychain to your iPhone.
Why We Love It
To use the Hone, you open up the app and push “find” and your keys will start to beep, beckoning you over to whatever pillow they are hidden behind. There’s a proximity sensor that shows you within the app how close you are to the Hone device on the phone, sort of like someone whispering “warmer...warmer...”. The simplicity and usefulness of the Hone is immediately apparent. If you are someone who loses your keys frequently, this product can help. Clearly a lot of you exist (Aaron included), as the Hone was able to raise $85,000 on Kickstarter to fund the initial version of the product.
Hone works by sending a signal directly to your iPhone 4S, iPhone5, or iPad 3 using Bluetooth 4.0, which is then picked up, causing the device to start beeping. Weighing in at a miniscule 0.6 ounces and boasting a 6 month battery life, Hone syncs with its accompanying app on your iPhone and tells you precisely where your keys are within a 150 foot range. The included CR2032 battery lasts up to six months, subject to usage.
As the Hone uses Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, it’s only compatible with the iPhone 4S and 5, the 3rd and 4th generation iPads, and the 5th generation iPod Touch. Bluetooth 4.0 support is getting better in Android, but it will still be a few months before Google fully implements it. George is very keen on supporting Android as soon as Google delivers a patch to fully support the Bluetooth 4.0 chipsets that most Android phones already have. Stay tuned.
Watch Kat Dennings and Geoffrey Litwack introduce you to Hone:
Why We Love It
Hone is a smart solution to an extremely common problem: lost keys. Grand St. co-founder Aaron is quite prone to losing his keys, often wasting precious minutes searching for his keys on a daily basis (when he should be working!) While we always knew Bluetooth 4.0 could be used in very diverse ways, here was a problem that so many people had, paired with a thoughtful solution.
The app is extremely easy to use, and so long as you don’t lose your phone, you can rest assured that your keys are always within arm’s length. The hardware component of the Hone is light enough to fit on your keys without weighing you down, it’s small, and it’s extremely practical.
One of the coolest parts of the Hone is its hackability. It offers an option for low-battery Bluetooth for projects small and large. This feature speaks to a much larger trend in new devices - they are slowly becoming more open and customizable, unlocking creativity that will surely lead to some interesting projects. You’ll soon be able to read through the details of Hone’s Bluetooth profile (and UUID) on the Hone website, and you just may see a project on Grand St. sometime soon.