Nothing left behind: GearEye keeps tabs on everything from lenses to SD cards

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Kitch Bain / 123 RF
Can something as simple as a smart sticker make sure that no camera gear is left behind? GearEye thinks so — the new system that uses radio-frequency ID, or RFID, tags to track every piece of gear down to the SD card is headed to Kickstarter for funding.

GearEye says the RFID stickers can be applied to any kind of gear, from the camera body and lenses down to the SD cards — even drone users could use the system to make sure they didn’t forget to pack their extra battery. An extended-range RFID reader and a smartphone app then pinpoints the location of every piece of sticker-clad gear.

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GearEye
GearEye

Inside the app, photographers can create gear lists tailored to different types of shoots — like one for portraits and another for wildlife shoots. Then, the system will check for the location of the stickers to make sure that everything is actually inside the camera bag. Designers say the app can even tell you if you’ve packed something that’s not in the list, for when the weight of that camera bag really matters.

GearEye isn’t designed to track down stolen gear — the system works only within about 10 feet — so while it’s easy to scan a camera bag to see what’s missing, finding a misplaced memory card isn’t what the system is designed to do, at least not currently. GearEye says the stickers last for years and do not require batteries.

The extended-range RFID reader comes either as a dedicated remote or as a smartphone case (for those that might be prone to leaving the reader behind, too). GearEye says they will launch on Kickstarter soon, but there’s no exact date yet.

The kit with the RFID reader and 20 stickers will be available for $119 for Kickstarter backers, with additional packs of 20 stickers for $10. If the funding is successful, the list price for the kit is expected to sit at $159.

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