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'Pixie' Reviews

Review: Pixie's ARKit-Enabled Item Trackers Are Neat, But Still Feel Like They're in Beta

Apple's augmented reality developer framework, known as ARKit, launched within iOS 11 on September 19. The debut turned hundreds of millions of iPhones into advanced AR-capable devices in the span of a few days, leading to the first wave of ARKit apps on the iOS App Store. One of these apps is called "Pixie," which existed prior to ARKit with its own proprietary AR technology, but the company updated its main app and "Pixie Point" trackers with Apple's technology last month. I've been testing Pixie's new ARKit-enabled tracking devices for about a week, and so far the app's augmented reality solution to finding lost items has provided a fun and engaging experience for item rediscovery, when it works. Unfortunately, my experience with Pixie was too often plagued by a low-quality app guidance system and inconsistent success in its main function, making the whole package feel like a beta product for a better iteration down the line. Like other Bluetooth trackers, you attach Pixie Points onto items you might lose frequently, or simply fear losing in the future. For Pixie's tracking technology to work reliably, one of the Points has to be attached to your iPhone via an included silicone-like case. The Pixie Point sits embedded in the top right of the case's back, and this coupled with the slippery feel of the case made me more conscious of how I was holding my iPhone and how close it was to falling from my hand at times. You could also use the Point's adhesive backing to stick it directly to your iPhone, but for obvious reasons I preferred not do that.

'Pixie' Articles

Pixie Tracker Uses Apple's ARKit to Guide You Towards Lost Items in Augmented Reality

A collection of ARKit demos have steadily released over the summer following the announcement of the developer platform at WWDC this past June, and now we're merely weeks away from ARKit's debut alongside iOS 11 sometime in September. Today, item tracking company Pixie Technology announced the newest iteration of its "Pixie Point" tracker, which will use a few miniature-sized finding devices and ARKit to guide users to their lost items in augmented reality. The introduction of ARKit into Pixie follows the company's previous version of the Pixie Point, which originally used a combination of proximity-guiding menus and in-house augmented reality technology to discover lost items. Now, ARKit is being used to improve upon the previous technology with "one continuous AR experience," and Pixie Technology is calling the new tracker and iOS combination, "one of the first practical everyday apps using Apple’s ARKit in iOS 11." Instead of traditional sound-based Bluetooth trackers, Pixie uses visual data as well as audio cues to provide a more accurate position of a lost item. To use Pixie, users need to attach one of the Pixie Points to an included iPhone case (or use an included adhesive sticker to attach the Pixie Point to a different case), while the second Pixie Point is linked to items of importance. While indoors, users first perform a panorama room scan with the iOS Pixie app to discover a 3D avatar of their missing wallet, keys, or bag. The avatar will float over an augmented reality area of "Pixie Dust," related to the exact location of the lost item in the