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Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 12:04 pm PT (03:04 pm ET)

Duet Bluetooth tag helps alert iPhone owners as soon as they lose their device

iPhone owners have a new option to ensure that their handset stays by their side with the Duet, a small Bluetooth-connected device that can be attached to a bag or keys and sounds an alarm if it moves more than 10 meters from a paired smartphone.



Duet is a 1-inch-by-1-inch square that communicates with an iPhone or Android device using Bluetooth Low Energy. In addition to the automatic alarm, a button on the Duet will cause the paired device to begin playing a sound, similar to features available through Apple's Find my iPhone system and a boon for those who frequently misplace their handset.

The concept also works in reverse, allowing users to find the item the Duet is attached to using a companion app on their phone. Up to 10 Duets can be tracked at once, and users can make the Duet play a sound or locate it on a map, helping find lost wallets or bags.

"We use our phones to connect, build relationships, store memories, keep track of our schedules, and so much more," Rick Tan, managing director for Duet's parent company, said in a release. "In talking with our customers, it became clear that people's emotions upon discovering they have lost their smartphone are panic, followed by worry and frustration when it can't be found. We created the Duet to address this — the best way to minimize panic and worry is to take preventive steps to not lose your phone in the first place."

The company says Duet will last up to 6 months on a single coin-cell battery with "normal use," and users can replace the batteries themselves. The device comes with a 3-year warranty.

Duet is available individually for $17 for the first 200 buyers — rising to $19 later — from the company's page on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. At press time, the group had raised nearly $16,000 — more than $10,000 more than its initial goal — and expects to begin shipping units to customers in May.