This week we’re having a peek at the crowd-funded Bluetooth Tag known as Duet by PROTAG. Created by the team at PROTAG, this tag is just about as simple as a Bluetooth Tag can get. It’s just large enough to house the replaceable Panasonic battery it comes with: 2.8cm square with rounded edges. It’s like a Cheez-it with Bluetooth 4.0 LE.
The team at Innova Technology have an app made for the Duet that’s able to work with a number of products. PROTAG, the creators of the hardware, have created two other Bluetooth-friendly devices (Elite and G1) that also make use of the app.
This app is just about the best part of the whole Duet setup. In the app you’ve got a friendly user interface that lends itself to finding your Duet in an instant, then telling you where said tag is at all times. You’ll set the app up to make a sound - from the tag and from your phone whenever the Bluetooth connection is severed.
Since we’re working with Bluetooth 4.0, this means that 50 meters is the maximum distance you’ll be able to keep a connection with the Duet. Your tracking will generally be far shorter than this, since you’re not going to want to be more than 10 meters away from your keys before you’ll want to be notified you’ve forgotten them.
The most obvious place you’ll want to connect your Duet to is your keys, though you do get a single 3M sticky circle to push the Duet to basically any other object you might want to track.
If you wish to keep the beeping to a minimum - or off entirely - you can also have a peek at where your Duet and phone were last connected. This comes in handy when you have no alarm set and you’re unable to locate whatever is connected to your Duet.
The Duet itself feels relatively cheap. The plastic is hard - this means that you’re going to have a securely fastened top over the device’s battery, but it also means that the Duet is a bugger to open.
Once you’re inside, you’re going to need to be nimble to avoid destroying any crucial hardware components. This isn’t a smartphone where the removable battery slot is protected and separate from the device’s interior hardware.
Constant connectivity with our smartphone has resulted in little to no drain on battery - for the most part. When we’re moving away from the device more than every once in a while, battery drain is experienced far faster - especially on the Duet’s removable battery.
Luckily there’s a spare battery in the box with the Duet, so we were able to replace the first after it ran out.
Using the Duet in real life is mildly frustrating. Attaching the Duet to your smartphone with Bluetooth is easy, but once you start beeping, annoyances begin: telling your phone that you’re OK walking away from your keys, for example, means disconnecting the device and the app entirely.
We’ve been assured by PROTAG that the random beeping we’re hearing (far too often) is due to the app being in Beta. According to PROTAG, the app will send a command to ring the tag "just to know it is there for testing." This ringing is said by PROTAG to be less frequent as time passes - and once the app is live, it won’t exist at all.
We’ll be updating this review once the ringing stops. Until then, this device is decent in its abilities and certainly does what its creators suggest it’s able to do.