Losing your wallet can be a huge hassle and end up costing you in time and hard earned dollars. In the US alone, around 62% of people say they have lost their wallet or had it stolen once in their life, and for many people it will happen more than once. But new technology offers the most promising fix to the lost wallet problem - wallet trackers. These simple devices are usually small and inconspicuous, fitting perfectly into your wallet, and allow you to track your wallet's location anywhere from a smartphone.
How do wallet trackers work?
Wallet trackers like Apple's AirTag or Ekster’s Tracker Card, use Bluetooth connectivity for small distance tracking up to 200 feet and something called a global lost-and-found network for long distance tracking. This network uses other trackers and smartphones as anonymous nodes that provide coverage for your wallet all over the globe.
The specific specs vary depending on the exact tracker model you’re using. For example, Ekster’s Tracker Card uses solar panel technology to charge the device. Three hours in the sun provides two full months of charge and does away with the need for cables and chargers. Solar panels also reduce the need for batteries which are a toxic but unfortunately very common way of charging electronic devices.
Wallet Trackers for Smartphones
Most wallet trackers will pair with your smartphone to provide a map where you can find its location. The Tracker Card uses Chipolo software to provide a seamless interface similar to Google Maps where you can find and locate your phone with amazing precision. But Ekster took it one step further. They also decided to equip the tracker with a two-way ring function. In your tracker app there is a “ring” button that when pressed causes the tracker to emit a unique ringtone. This way, if your wallet is hidden under a couch cushion or at the back of a dark closet, you can locate it by sound once you’ve found it’s location using the map.
And unlike other technologies, all this is super easy to set up. Once you have the tracker card, just turn on your phone’s Bluetooth, open the app, press the button on your tracker and everything is paired and ready to go.
Choosing the Right Wallet Tracker
There are more and more models of wallet trackers emerging on the market, from Ekster’s Tracker Card to Apple’s Airtag, but there are a few main pros and cons that will help you decide which is right for you.
Apple’s AirTag and Ekster’s Tracker Card both use the same network technology, so in terms of coverage, reliability, and precision, they are matched equally. The main difference between the two is the shape and size of the actual tracker. The AirTag is a small circle that can be attached to specific compatible Apple Products or simply placed inside of something like a bag or wallet. While it’s smaller than the Tracker Card, it’s instantly recognizable as a tracker, so a potential thief can easily find it and ditch it.
Ekster’s Tracker Card is thin, black, and shaped like a credit card, fitting easily into any wallet or bag. The inconspicuous design camouflages the tracker as just another card in the wallet so it’s not immediately recognizable. Unlike AirTag, it doesn’t require any electricity to be charged, just light.
If you’re someone who loses their wallet or just wants to avoid the inevitable, a wallet tracker might be just the thing you need. It’s nice having the peace of mind that if or when you misplace your wallet, you can skip the stress of retracing your steps and go immediately to getting your wallet back. Ekster’s Tracker Card also sends you a notification if you leave your wallet behind, so you can stop the drama before it even starts.