If you've ever been hiking or skiing, attended a music festival or a state fair, you know how easy it is to lose track of your friends and exchange usually ridiculous of "I am by the big" -type of messages. Lynq is a gadget that solves this problem with an ultra-simple premise: it simply tells you where and in what direction your friends are, no data connection required.
Apart from a few extra small features, it's really all that it does, and I love it. I had the chance to play with a prototype at CES and it worked like a charm.
The peanut-shaped devices use a combination of GPS and kinetic positioning to know where you are and where the connected Lynqs are, and on the screen all you see is: Ben, 240 feet .
No pins on a map, no coordinates, no directions step by step. Just a precise vector just a few feet that works everywhere on the outside. The small spot that points in their direction moves as fast as a compass, and becomes smaller as they move away, widening to a full circle when you get to a few feet.
Up to 12 can be paired, and they should work up to 3 miles each (more under certain circumstances). The single button toggles between the people you follow and activates the few features of the device. You can create a "home" location to which linked devices can point, and also set a security zone (a radius of your device) that notifies you if the other leaves it. And you can send basic predefined messages like "meet up" or "help".
This is great for outdoor activities with friends, but think about how useful it can be for tracking children or animals, for first-aiders, to make sure that people with diabetes dementia do not go too far.
The military seems to have liked it too; The US Pacific Command did some testing with the Thai Ministry of Defense and found that it helped soldiers find themselves more quickly while the radio was silent and helped them train for a faster search mission. . All the officers involved were impressed.
Having played with a person for about half an hour, I can say with confidence that it's a small dandy device, super intuitive to use, and that was totally accurate and responsive. It is clear that the team has put a lot of effort into making it simple but effective – there has been a lot of work behind the scenes.
As devices send their GPS coordinates directly to each other, the team has created a special compression algorithm for these data – because if you want a precise GPS , it's actually a few numbers that need to be sent. But after compression, it is only a few bytes, which makes it possible to send it more frequently and more reliably than if you had just deleted the original data.
The screen turns off automatically when you let it hang by its little clip, saving the battery, but it still gets the data, so there is no lag when you flip it – the screen lights up and boom, there is Betty, 450 feet away.
The only real problem I've had is that the one-button interface, although it's great for normal use, is pretty annoying for things like entering names and navigating through them. menus. I understand why they kept things simple, and usually it will not be a problem, but that's it.
Lynq is doing a pre-order campaign on Indiegogo, which I tend to avoid, but I can assure you that it's a real thing that all those who spend a lot of time with their friends will find it extremely useful. They sell for $ 154 a pair, which is quite reasonable, and since this price will probably increase considerably later, I would say that it should be done now.