CES 2013: Hipkey - a 'Bluetooth Smart' Proximity Sensor for iOS Devices

Tuesday January 8, 2013 9:26 AM PST by Arnold Kim
We've closely covered the emerging class of Bluetooth Smart (4.0) low energy devices that have been slowly coming to market.

Hippih was showing off Hipkey at CES 2013. Hipkey is their version of the digital leash application that allows you to keep your iPhone from getting left behind. The device was already put on sale in the European Online Apple Store in December and quickly sold out. The device will make its debut in the U.S. Apple Online store on January 15th.

Hipkey comes as a small aluminum device that you are meant to attach to your keychain or other personal item. The device will pair up with your iPhone and then provide a digital leash for your device. You can set it to detect between small (2-5m), medium (15-20m) and long (30-50m) distances between the devices and then trigger a sound and vibration alarm. The primary intent is to avoid leaving your iPhone behind. The free to download software seems very well designed and also offers other related functionality.

- Alarm Mode: Warns you if you forget your iPhone or iPad or if someone attempts to steal it.
- Child mode: Alerts you if your child wanders too far away from you.
- Motion Mode: Put hipKey in your bag and you are alerted if someone moves it.
- Find Me Mode: Quickly find your iPhone, iPad or your keys at any time.

Additionally, a "Safe Zone" can be established at any location which prevents the device from triggering automatically at any of the shorter proximities. The device will still trigger if you exceed the longest range. Hipkey incorporates a rechargeable battery that lasts 2-4 weeks and recharges in 4 hours. It will be available on the Online Apple Store on January 15th for $89.99.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 23 months ago
Can't wait till these devices are a bit more affordable!

Great idea...too many $s
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

If I understand this correctly, the device uses low consumption bluetooth tech, correct? But it would still rely on the iPhone's traditional bluetooth tech, which still uses quite a lot of juice, right?

So the trade off is between smaller time between charges and not forgetting your phone (or being alerted it's being robbed).

Can someone confirm/dispute this? How much less battery time are we talking about if bluetooth is permanently on?


The iPhone 5 uses 4.0, the same low power operation.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
Apple R&D needs to buy a few of these... might prevent any more prototypes from getting lost in bars!
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
Hipkey: For the hipster in all of us.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
would be nice if it could lock your phone if it moves to far away or puts an alert on the phone.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
4 hours to charge? That's a really long time for something that has such a small battery and draws so little power.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago

The description said that it can be automatically disabled at a specific location (like home) where your keys and phone may be separated.

But, yes, this is something my wife could use as well.


HOME is where I lose my keys most often!
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago


I dig the child walking away thing, but why the hell would a child young enough you'd be worried have an iPhone?


I believe that you clip the device onto the child, and the App on the phone would alert you.

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Could this be left in the car or under a motorbike seat (in close proximity to the house/office) as a suppliment to an alarm? So if someone tries to pick my bike up to load it into a van my phone will alert me? If so, I'll need to look into this more closely.


In "Motion Mode" You'd be alerted if there were motion, so yes, the bike scenario would work, but leaving it in a car, you'd probably not be notified until the car has already started moving, in which case, too late. lol
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
I'd be interest in these once the prices come down, seems like a fun gadget to help not lose your gadgets.

Now if only I could remember where I left my keys ...
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 23 months ago
This will be a mandatory device for all those Apple techs carrying around iPhone prototypes to restaurants and such!

:D :D :D :D




This product would be much better if it could be molded into your house key.
Rating: 1 Votes

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