Author Topic: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags  (Read 35543 times)

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Offline cybergibbons

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StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« on: May 06, 2013, 07:31:07 am »
I'll prefix this with two things - the tags do exist (I have some) and they do partially function.

These Bluetooth Low Energy tracking tags promised a lot in their pitch:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sticknfind-bluetooth-powered-ultra-small-location-stickers/x/1914325?c=home

Showing applications like keeping tabs on a pet, luggage whilst travelling, alerting you when your wife pulls into the driveway. Range is claimed as 100ft LOS, and they made an announcement saying they had boosted this to 150ft.

They wanted $70k, and they got $931,670, i.e. over-funded by a factor of 13 times.

So - the reality of it.

A lot of the tags don't work and they don't work very well
My 4 tags turned up, and they really didn't work very well at all. One appeared dead, range was poor (20 ft LOS) on the others, operation was intermittent, the radar is mostly useless (a distance estimate), and the leash is totally dysfunctional.
http://cybergibbons.com/2013/04/10/first-impressions-of-my-sticknfind-bluetooth-location-stickers/

3 others I know also got tags - out of a total of 38 tags, 20 of them have never worked or stopped working soon after.

My gut feeling is that several aspects of the design are causing reliability issues (battery contacts, use of piezo as antenna, fragile plastic) and that there are serious QC issues compounding this.

I realise that Bluetooth Low Energy range is limited and that the radar must using RSSI somehow, but I had figured they might have some interesting DSP tricks up their sleeve.

I have since received other BLE tags that work much better than StickNFind (i.e. range of 30-50ft, leash that works).

No Android App
This was just the start though. I'm using iOS, but many people are using Android. Initially there was no Android app at all, and then they released one that only supports a few Samsung phones. This is because the Android OS does not natively support Bluetooth Low Energy - they are "hoping" that an announcement at the end of May will sort this out.

However, the original page showed Android 4.0 as supported. That moved up to 4.1 and now some people suspect it may not be until even later versions. This has left a lot of people with tags they cannot currently use and potentially may never be able to use. A lot of people are unhappy.

They said the Android app was ready in December, but didn't mention it wasn't going to work on most phones. Interestingly, in April they advertised on LinkedIn for an Android developer... too little too late?

They either aren't shipping them, they are going missing or they aren't communicating
At this point I set up a simple survey to see how many people were unhappy. 125 people responded. 110 of those were unhappy (yes, I know it will be biased this way). About half of those hadn't received the tags at all and there are still a lot of people complaining about this.

They are continuing to sell them via retail channels
Their website, StickNFind.com, continues to offer the tags as "Buy now" and they will let you buy tags and pay for priority shipping. There is nothing to say these tags are alpha, beta, pre-release, or not in stock. But then on Facebook they announce the tags are "pre-release". People who have bought the tags retail (yes, they have received them before backers) are seriously unhappy about this.

http://cybergibbons.com/2013/04/26/sticknfind-are-a-dishonest-company-do-not-buy-from-them/

This point really troubles me - they have almost $1m. They shouldn't be selling these when they don't seem to work.

Awful communication
Essentially, if you tags are not working, they ignore you. Posts complaining about the tags are deleted, I was banned from their Facebook page.

They shouldn't be having these issues

We know what we’re doing; We've led the development and manufacturing of more than 2 dozen hardware products for many large companies, so we know exactly what's required to pull this off.

The people behind this are SSI America and claim to be able to do this... it would appear not.

Other projects
The guys behind StickNFind are also behind Blutracker (which has just announced, after a few months of silence, that there are delays) and Meterplug (which is featured here as well).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 07:41:21 am by cybergibbons »
 

Offline dustout

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 09:02:09 am »
I have had about the same experience with my StickNFinds as well.  The recent ios app update admittedly seems to have significantly improved my experience with them.  The UI still has issues (for instance if a tag I am tracking goes out of range then it switches to activating a deactivating tag which is annoying).  I still expect and do encounter false alarms using leash functionality. It's annoying and really makes me not want to use it for that.  I am currently only using 1 tag.  When I have started using more in the vicinity the tracking range goes down exponentially as I introduce additional tags which is a shame.  I may give the others away.  I don't have any other bluetooth devices in my home so they really should be better than this.

They MIGHT be usable for the finding purpose but as distance is like a random number generator that hurts it pretty bad.  I can use my hand and body to try and put myself in between the tag and the phone and that helps with hunting things down.  Outdoors that functionality is slightly better but not as much as you'd hope.  The whole thing is certainly not fool-proof and feels more like a Dealextreme-esque version that has potential but failed in some keys ways, at least so far.

I think for the funding they received they could have done much better.  They could have hired additional consultation to help make this thing better, sourced better developers, gotten some nice bulk discounts to help justify improving some component choices, plastics quality, etc.  The app could use some actual testing. There are obvious little problems in addition to larger ones.  Until recently you had to re-accept the EULA upon each opening of the app. The auto-ranging of the radar can really go wild zooming in and out as the tags sometimes jump from thinking they are  3 "radio feet" from my phone to 150 "radio feet", whatever "radio feet" is supposed to mean. When a tag goes out of range it auto-activates deactivated tags if you pull up the tags list to toggle activate/inactive.  The list goes on...  For the budget these issues should not exist or release should have held.

Some additional things I've noted:
* The light feature is dim and only shines out of the location it is pointing through the feux light pipe.  Diffusion around the ring is poor so it doesn't show up well unfortunately.
* It feels cheap.
* Took mega tapping and thumping to get them to wake up from initial sleep mode -- it hurt my finger.
* Their communication is terrible.
* I did not get my shipping information until after it arrived.
* The giant speaker grille will let water in when my cat dips her head down to drink water.  I was aware of this before purchasing but I wish it was a little more water-friendly but I can't have everything. :)

I'd rather wait for a higher quality product than get rushed crap. A million bucks of backing should have been better utilized.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2013, 09:45:29 am »
There are a lot of people with issues - I've not seen anyone actually review them positively. There are people saying "My stickers arrived and they are GREAT!" but don't really seem to say anything else.

What I've found incredible is the number of people who want to defend the way StickNFind are behaving. There is really no excuse for continuing to sell a product that does not work and that you do not have stock of without making buyers aware.

I thought the recent iOS app helped but still only 1 tag actually works and it sometimes takes upwards of 5 minutes to get a signal good enough for it to respond. Range (not the distance estimate) is so variable - sometimes it is literally 2 feet, sometimes 10, 20, even once or twice I managed to active it in the room above.

They can only cost a few dollars to make. They should have spent the time and money better, and they should have communicated the lack of Android app sooner.

With two other projects to deliver, I think there is a real need for concern and action here. Clowns like StickNFind run a real risk of ruining the concept of crowd funding.
 

Offline tinjaw

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 01:08:25 am »
The first two posts sum things up quite well.

I purchased a six-pack. The reason I purchase them is that we have a cat that in mostly indoors, but goes out now and then. He sticks around small grove of trees out our back yard. He have trouble tracking him down in the tall grass or, as the underbrush in the trees is too dense to walk through, we have to walk the long perimeter to find him.

I went into this project knowing that with a single transmitter and a single receiver it would be a process of hot/cold to track him down. I thought they might be doing something with some high precision clock data and adding that to a measured battery level to adjust for transmitting power to correlate a better range. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Well, nope. It is a complete waste of money.

Here's what I put as a comment on the project page (limited to 500 characters).

Quote
I had high expectations but the product delivered is no way near what was expected. Difficult to pair. Software app has bugs. LED light is weak and useless unless in near total darkness. Audible beep is too weak to be heard if the tag in a bag or there is less than total silence in the room. The main feature I purchased it for, finding my cat amongst the bushes, was completely misrepresented. The ranges provided are absolutely worthless and wildly inaccurate. Unequivocally a failure.

I understand that not all projects work out, especially as a software developer and maker myself, but I feel I was lied to with this project. I am being vocal in the hopes that three things occur:

1) People don't waste money buying the, now available, "retail" version.
2) The standards are cranked up a bit on Indiegogo to be more inline with Kickstarter for physical products.
3) Either the pressure on them produces a much better BluTracker product or us backers of that project get our money back.

I took some photos, videos, and screenshots of tags showing over 200 feet away when they were 6 feet away. I had five of them sitting with six inches between each. They were all six feet from me and ranged from 20-100 feet on the "radar". All measurements were erratic and could easily be mistaken for random values.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 07:08:55 am »
Thanks for the post. Your motivations are similar to mine - I'm not bothered about the personal cost (small), but the fact they have almost $1m and are behaving like this is not acceptable to me.

There are a few signs to me that something is badly wrong with StickNFind:
1. Still selling the product retail despite it being "pre-release". Why not change it to "Pre-order"? It really suggests to me there are cashflow issues - this is something you'll see in normal businesses that are near to failing.
2. Suppressing (badly, but still trying to) bad reviews and ignoring annoyed customers. It just looks like they have accepted this is a dead product and want to try and grab as much as they can...

I really don't get why people think that crowd funding means non-functional products, non-delivery, and really poor service are acceptable.

It looks like the tipping point has been reached with complaints though - pretty much all of Facebook, IndieGoGo and twitter is now unhappy people.

I've now seen two reports of the tags splitting in half when on key rings, which means the battery falls out and you can't find the missing tag...

 

Offline Rocket

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 02:01:22 pm »
I have posted several comments on the Indiegogo site.  I ordered six tags, received them yesterday, and tried to pair with an iPhone 5.  One of the tags does not work.  One doesn't light up and beeps every time I pick it up.  Four tags paired with my phone, but the tracker is not accurate.  The buttons on the app to turn the beep and light on and off seem to come and go randomly.  The instructions that came with the box aren't exactly the same as the icons in the app.  There are much bigger companies than this that have buggy apps initially, and I expect that and can live with it.  However, the communication  from this company has been horrible.  I've told them that in my communications with their "customer service".  They are completely tone deaf when it comes to communication and satisfied customers.  I haven't seen anything positive on the comments page.  How can they be shipping such a large percentage of dead tags, and not address the issue?  I've suggested to them that there have been many articles recently about successful crowd funding, so perhaps the press would be interested in an article about crowd funding when things go wrong.  In all of their recent updates, not once have they taken responsibility for the problems, or said they're sorry for all the confusion about Android, or that they need to do a better job of communicating so that they don't have so many unhappy customers.  That is really bothersome, and leads me to believe they don't care.  I've funded several other projects on Kickstarter, and have had a very positive experience, both with the company and with the products. I do not agree with some of the comments that say "Give them a break, they're a new company"  Lots of new start-ups have problems and glitches, but they address those problems, communicate with their customers, and replace defective products. I just had a problem with the speaker on my iPhone 5.  The local Apple store repaired it in less than 30 minutes.  These folks should take a lesson from Apple and other companies that treat their customers properly.
 

Online Rasz

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 02:22:43 pm »
It was misleading from the start, just looking at that Aliens Motion Tracker screen should be enough to understand they are lyin^^^using more marketing than technology.
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Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 07:14:22 pm »
I was dubious of the app, but I honestly expected some interesting DSP or other techniques to improve range estimates. As it is, they really don't work at all.

The Facebook page is all complaints now. Indiegogo has a few people saying the sticks aren't totally crap. Twitter is full of complaints. I realise unhappy people will be more vocal than happy, but this is really quite bad.

Is it just ineptitude or are they being actively dishonest? It absolutely intrigues me.
 

Offline bluskyline21

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 07:43:39 pm »
Hello all,
I'm in the same boat as most of you and share the same concerns. I followed their campaign for awhile before I bit the bullet and ordered a set. I was excited because the idea sounded pretty cool! I actually received mine in early April, less than a week after the shipping confirmation email. I tried and tried to get it to work with my SG3 but to no avail. I didn't know that since I'm on AOSP, I couldn't use the technology built-into my phone. I then tried my iPod 4G because on their campaign site, it says "new iPod." I didn't know there was an iPod5G and the term "new" is subjective and very vague.

I was blocked from their FB page this a.m and I guess the icing was when I posted the name and email of the PayPal account associated with IGG contributions. This is public knowledge to everyone who ordered the stickers if they look at their PayPal transaction history. I keep asking for a refund, mostly out of principle because people (startup or not) should never NEVER treat their customers how they have. It's disgraceful and just plain rude. I feel we've been lied to and misled from the beginning. Part of me thinks I should've known better, but I expected SNF to at least work with their customers. I mean, we paid them almost $1M! Doesn't that deserve product support? I suggest taking action:


http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0341-file-complaint-ftc#How
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/july/shopping/customer-service/how-to-rattle-a-companys-cage/index.htm
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 07:12:37 am »
Thanks.

I see they have now blocked both of your accounts on Facebook. I really don't understand their strategy with communication - delete some of the vocal complainers, block them on twitter (which literally just stops them seeing what you are doing, you can still see all their tweets).

They hired a social media strategist (Michael Manna) a while back, but if anything, he has made the situation worse. The Android situation became less clear and then the "pre release" announcement was made whilst they were selling them.

The Android app reviews are terrible:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ssia.sticknfind&feature=nav_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDNd

The iPhone app is also awful:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sticknfind/id606702432?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

They just don't work.

Unfortunately, a lot of us with totally broken tags seem to be in Europe (which is odd - possibly higher density of WiFi or an additional channel here?). So it's very hard for us to do anything legal. All I can really do is make sure that everyone is aware how bad the product and company is. With the amount of blogging and news about StickNFind though, it's incredibly hard to get anywhere near the top of the search results.

I suggested contacting them in every way possible:
http://cybergibbons.com/2013/04/30/sticknfind-update-3/

 

Online Rasz

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 10:06:51 am »
There is always a charge back.
Who logs in to gdm? Not I, said the duck.
My fireplace is on fire, but in all the wrong places.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2013, 02:07:07 pm »
Yes, there is. But it normally causes Paypal to get the arse until they are happy you are in the right. It also doesn't fix the other $931455...
 

Offline andyturk

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 02:23:23 pm »
Can one of you guys do a teardown on these? What Bluetooth chipset are they using?

I'm not surprised that this kind of product has issues. Above and beyond whatever problems they have with their own device, the app also relies on the Bluetooth stack of the phone/tablet, and those aren't the most reliable either.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2013, 02:30:26 pm »
There isn't much to them.

NRF 51822 chip, passives, two crystals, uses piezo as the antenna. Battery clip is dodgy as it uses a small solder bump.

Link to image

Current draw is massively variable on the three partially functional samples I have.

Lettering on the PCB is very fuzzy, obvious remnants of flux, some very near to solder bridges on the IC.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 02:31:59 pm by cybergibbons »
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2013, 03:16:12 pm »
Compare to a competing tag that works (much better)
 

Offline alexjamesbrown

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2013, 03:39:28 pm »
Asked for a refund for their shoddy product, got this reply:

pic.twitter.com/nZrkkg0Emw

 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2013, 05:16:01 pm »
I've asked for replacement tags, but had no response at all. But 20/38 is a massive failure rate over quite a large sample, so I doubt it would do much.

One other person was asked to send them back, but not told where, and how to do it.

I notice their communication is slowing down even further now...
 

Offline neil Johnstone

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 05:02:40 am »
This mob are a pack of crooks.

Service is non-existant, they dont respond to emails and you cant even cancel an order.

Disappointed given the potential of their products.
 

Offline andyturk

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2013, 07:16:54 pm »
This mob are a pack of crooks.
I doubt they intended to rip you off. The design looks viable, but it seems like they chose a manufacturing house that was incapable of building the devices with a reasonable yield. Bluetooth requires a fairly high degree of precision (e.g., a 20 ppm oscillator) and shoddy manufacturing throws that out the window. They probably didn't use any assembly line tests to see what was being built and just hoped that what they got back from the factory was ready to sell.

They probably didn't have enough cash to fix the manufacturing problems and do another run.

 :-//
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2013, 07:28:53 pm »
I don't think they initially intended to rip anyone off, but it really does look like they are now trying to continue to sell them without making the buyers aware of the sheer number of issues. It's very dishonest to do this and they are fully aware that people aren't happy about it.
 

Offline NeverGiveUp

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2013, 04:05:57 pm »
I ordered 6 StickNFind stickers.  I sent an email to the email address provided for support asking about the shipment to the US for distribution and if that had occurred, yet.  I received a reply within a couple of hours, along with my tracking number the person had researched for me.

Within a couple of days, my shipment arrived with all 6 of my StickNFinds in the box.  All 6 stickers woke up easily and were easily paired with my iPhone 5.  The range is not accurate for any of them and no one sticker performs better than another.

They are all sitting fairly close to each other, which is how I have them set up, and are all about the same exaggerated distance from my phone, but they are all clumped together, which is how I am testing them.  While they are not as accurate as claimed in their distance from my phone, I can learn to adjust my "internal distance" to the "new distance" readings.  I have tested the stickers for the last 5 days moving them around the house, as a group, and they have shown up on radar reliably and successfully, with one floating away from the location of the rest of the stickers, but finally settling in near the others, with the new "distance" readings adjusted for the new distance.

Not perfect, but an improvement on DOA or "bash to awaken" problems others have had.  Lack of accuracy is the only thing that affects my opinion of them.  Maybe not being among the first to receive the stickers was a good thing as they worked out some of the problems before the ones I received were manufactured?
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2013, 04:10:29 pm »
It does sound like there are some real QC issues. I wonder if they are using two different manufacturers?
 

Offline NeverGiveUp

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2013, 08:14:15 pm »
It does sound like there are some real QC issues. I wonder if they are using two different manufacturers?

It makes me wonder the same thing.  Also, the temperatures are relatively accurate, within +/- 5 degrees of each other and also with the temperature in the house.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2013, 08:31:55 am »
Google I/O has gone, and there is still nothing concrete on BLE support in stock Android.

I don't think those of you using non-Samsung phones are going to have any luck at all.
 

Offline red

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2013, 05:16:15 pm »
I also order 6 stickers, and received them about a week or so ago.  I had downloaded the beta App on my Motorola HD Razr MAXX, though it never worked.  I tried to find the updated app in Google Play, but I couldn't find it there. I had ordered the stickers because it said it would work on Android with Version 4.0.  I have Version 4.1.  I also emailed their Support but never received a reply.  I did get a reply on their Facebook page saying they were working on a version which would support my phone. Yea, so when??  It seems that they really hyped their product, but cannot deliver at all.  I will wait to see if they actually will support Android.  They should have said that it doesn't yet support it and it was for Apple only.  What a waste of money.
 

Online Rasz

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2013, 07:15:17 pm »
I will wait to see if they actually will support Android.  They should have said that it doesn't yet support it and it was for Apple only.  What a waste of money.

just chargeback (broken on delivery) and buy again _if_ they finally support your phone. Otherwise you just gave them money for nothing.

Chargeback is the only thing that can hurt them.
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Offline notzippy

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2013, 06:06:02 pm »
Look familiar ?, for some reason I thought this was a unique "invention".. haha, explains why there are clones http://igg.me/at/ButtonTrackR/x/1733288



If your looking for the manufacturer it is here, maybe you could invent your own and call it a <fill in the blank>....
http://www.blueradios.com/hardware_sensors.htm

 

Offline hkgpss

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2013, 04:23:09 am »
Hi others, I placed my order in as early as Feb, and recently checked their web site which told new customers that product would be shipped in 2-3 days, but I have never ever received the products from them?!!! What are they actually doing? I am a customer from Hong Kong.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2013, 07:55:24 am »
Put simply, they lie to get money from customers as soon as they can.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2013, 11:23:10 am »
So, they started selling them on Amazon.com, reviews aren't great:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CC6OD7Q/

http://www.amazon.com/Stick-N-Find-Bluetooth-Location-Tracker-Set/dp/B00CRITFYU

There is also a fundable funding campaign started now:
http://www.fundable.com/sticknfind?utm_source=newsletter
 

Offline amandatk

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2013, 06:09:16 pm »
I saw a link to this forum, and am surprised at some bad comments here. I have 4 Sticknfinds and they all work. I have never had a product like this, and they help me. I do understand its new technology, and the app is getting better and better. Cybergibbons: What did they do to you that you hate them so much? It seems you are really trying hard to bad-mouth them.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2013, 07:54:26 pm »
Their behaviour isn't acceptable. They have been dishonest in several respects, and show no signs of changing. Taking almost $1m off backers and delivering a product this variable with such bad customer service isn't on. There's nothing here that isn't factual, and they are free to come and respond. They simply delete as much negative opinion as they can, and there appears to be no channel for us to complain.
 

Offline amandatk

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2013, 01:24:06 am »
What behavior? What did they do to you? How were they dishonest? I must say, that after reading your posts, I got scared, and thought I was missing something. But to be honest, the product works. I went to their indiegogo campaign, and the app they delivered is much better than the one they posted there. Sure, there are people with htc phones not happy. Is this your case? It says it supports Android phones that support Bluetooth 4. Are there any BT4 accessories for HTC that work? I have a Fitbit, and its not supported yet by htc.  I have an S3 phone, and got the stickers before the app was released, ok, i had to wait some weeks, But it works now. And I must admit, the app keeps getting better.
 

Offline cthree

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2013, 05:45:41 am »
If they made specific claims which they did not deliver on you should demand your money back, period. You bought these things on spec and if that isn't what you got then you must get the money back. It is not legal to sell one thing and deliver another, indiegogo or not. If you were just dazzled by the shiny marketing jazz then shame on you I guess.

That is what crowdfunding is, buying on spec. You are buying a promise and that is all, it is what it is. If you want a product and not a promise you need to go to a store and buy one. The only thing that matters when buying on spec is the spec. Did they deliver on the promises made. If they said the range was no less than 50m and it only works to 10m then you get your money back. If they say up to 50m range and it gets 10m then technically 10m less than 50m so it's within spec.

If the things didn't work then they are out of spec and you need to get your money back or get them replaced with in-spec devices. The risk of disappointment when buying a product which hasn't been tested and has not track record is very high. You should know that going in. It may take some time before all of the problems are worked out. Early birds may get the worm but are the first to be eaten by cats.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2013, 06:16:13 am »
It's all here in this thread.

1. They openly stated that the product is "pre-release" (this hasn't changed, or at least they haven't told us). They are selling them retail without telling buyers this. 
2. They say they will ship in 2-3days, and they take at least a few weeks. But they'll take cash for priority shipping as well.
3. It's very obvious that the way they describe Android compatibility is not adequate. What does "supporting Bluetooth Low Energy" mean? The Nexus 4 and HTC One have chipsets that support BLE. There have been countless people who have been confused by this as it isn't clear. Fitbit and others don't have an issue with being honest. The retail packaging is even more ambiguous.

All of these could be fixed by better communication, yet they haven't fixed it. It's not like people haven't been asking them.

To preempt responses to these:

1. This isn't about the crowdfunding, this is about them selling them retail without warning consumers that they don't work. A significant number of people have bought them, then come to the facebook page and seen that they are a work in progress, and been really quite unhappy about it.
2. There's absolutely no excuse for taking money for a product that you can't ship. "Available in 3-4weeks" would solve this. I can't see why you possibly wouldn't change this. All it is doing is annoying customers who then post complaints who then get complaints deleted. There's still some people who ordered them in Feb and they haven't got them...
3. It's very easy to be clear on which phones are supported and which ones may be in the future. Consumers who know phones in detail might understand what "supporting BLE" means, but the large number of people complaining would indicate that this isn't a good way to describe it.

Why do they chose to continue to not clear up these issues? Is it because they'd rather take the cash and hope that customers just let it go?

You've also got the fact that for a lot of people they don't work. The range is so low and they are so unresponsive that they are useless. I can't work out why some people are happy - is it product variation or are some people easily pleased?

I don't get what you mean by "What did they do to you?". I wrote the first detailed review of the product that wasn't just a regurgitated press release, a large number of people have commented and been in contact about how unhappy the are about the product. Is there something wrong with trying to get that resolved?

Like I've said, they are free to come here and respond to criticism.

cthree - they've not responded to 12 emails requesting a refund. Paypal investigation underway.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 06:47:20 am by cybergibbons »
 

Offline amandatk

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2013, 02:28:43 pm »
For starters, I am getting decent range. I have a 2 floor house, and I can pick my keys from the second floor. I would say its easy 50 -80 feet away, but there are walls in between, so my guess is that line of sight range would be more. I also noticed that when I removed my phone case, the range greatly improved. Someone had posted this somewhere, and I had my doubts, but with my case on, the range was far more limited.
So, to understand you are mad at Sticknfind because they sell a product that doesn't work? Mine clearly works. You are mad because the shipping times are longer that posted? Is this a reason to call them dishonest? I know that Android really sucks at supporting Low Energy Bluetooth. Yet, my Samsung phone works. Someone posted that they are now beta testing Motorola. This means what? That they are releasing Motorola soon, I guess... Good for them. Did you expect them to hold my order and thousands more orders until all Android phones work? I would have done the same. As I mentioned earlier, my Samsung phone was not supported when I got the stickers. I had to wait some weeks for Samsung support. Apple phones had the initial support.

Finally, I must say, that Sticknfind, that is a not a known company, funded this product from Crowdsourcing. Funded. This means that without the Indiegogo campaign, there would be no product. I have their product. It works. Crowdsourcing worked in this case.
How many companies have tried Crowdsourcing and failed to deliver a product? They just disappeared...And how many that did succeed, had massive delays?

Cybergibbons: What is your agenda? From the massive posts you have made, it seems you are not interested in getting your units fixed, but rather destroy Sticknfind. A small company that made a cool product, that no one did before, and works. Clearly they have more products and ideas up their sleeve.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #36 on: June 25, 2013, 02:48:01 pm »
So, to understand you are mad at Sticknfind because they sell a product that doesn't work? Mine clearly works.

Mine and many others don't, their action is to ignore complaints and delete them. It's great yours work, but it clearly indicates there is some serious issue that means that some people get 10ft range and others 80ft. Over 100 people have communicated with me who have had problems with the tags not working properly.

They are still "pre-release" according to themselves, and they sell them in shops without telling the customer that. How is that honest?

You are mad because the shipping times are longer that posted? Is this a reason to call them dishonest?

Yes, it is. "Ships in 2-3 Days" and then taking weeks or months, and charging for priority shipping? Why is that not dishonest?

I know that Android really sucks at supporting Low Energy Bluetooth. Yet, my Samsung phone works. Someone posted that they are now beta testing Motorola. This means what? That they are releasing Motorola soon, I guess... Good for them. Did you expect them to hold my order and thousands more orders until all Android phones work? I would have done the same. As I mentioned earlier, my Samsung phone was not supported when I got the stickers. I had to wait some weeks for Samsung support. Apple phones had the initial support.

They put a slip of paper in the packaging saying you could find the app in the Play store, which was clearly false. The retail packaging still is not clear on what is supported, neither is the website. They did not know any other phones would be supported. Turns out only people who can upgrade to Android 4.3 will get support, so you are at the mercy of your carrier.

So easy to just be transparent on this, but they aren't. It's not even like it was just at the outset, they still haven't made this clear.

Finally, I must say, that Sticknfind, that is a not a known company, funded this product from Crowdsourcing. Funded. This means that without the Indiegogo campaign, there would be no product. I have their product. It works. Crowdsourcing worked in this case.
How many companies have tried Crowdsourcing and failed to deliver a product? They just disappeared...And how many that did succeed, had massive delays?

Sorry, I don't get your point? Because other people are worse, we shouldn't care about StickNFind being awful? Why do you think it is acceptable to behave like they are?

Cybergibbons: What is your agenda? From the massive posts you have made, it seems you are not interested in getting your units fixed, but rather destroy Sticknfind. A small company that made a cool product, that no one did before, and works. Clearly they have more products and ideas up their sleeve.

There's nothing that hasn't been said on these posts - it's all in the open. You seem to also be spending a lot of time writing posts, what does that say?

I'd like them to correct these points and stop treating customers like shit.
 

Offline baljemmett

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2013, 03:06:17 pm »
*sniff*  *sniff*  Beginning to smell like astroturf in here...
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2013, 03:25:02 pm »
I'll be direct to amandatk - what agenda do you think I have? You are implying that I have one, so you must have some idea of what you mean.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2013, 03:48:43 pm »
Bal - I'm willing to believe people are genuine, I've found that people in the US seem much more tolerant of poor customer service than the UK when it comes to tech products. It might be due to much weaker or muddled consumer protection law.

But, based on the likelihood that there are shill reviews on Amazon, it's also plausible that a bit of astroturfing is going to be going on.
 

Offline daviddavid

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2013, 06:01:24 pm »
I have also the Stick n find discs. i got 10 stickers and they great.  use with iphone 5.
i read this forum, and I must agree with Amandatk. I cannot stay quiet. I think cybergibons try hard to speak bad about stick n find. Product is good. He seemed to be looking hard with magnifying glass. too hard! I think he work with competition company.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2013, 06:07:01 pm »
I have also the Stick n find discs. i got 10 stickers and they great.  use with iphone 5.
i read this forum, and I must agree with Amandatk. I cannot stay quiet. I think cybergibons try hard to speak bad about stick n find. Product is good. He seemed to be looking hard with magnifying glass. too hard! I think he work with competition company.

Now tell me, why don't I believe a single word you write?
I delete PMs unread. If you have something to say, say it in public.
For all else: Profile->[Modify Profile]Buddies/Ignore List->Edit Ignore List
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2013, 06:23:32 pm »
That's pretty easy to sort - I don't work for a competitor or anyone who manufactures electronics. If you've got some kind of proof, I'd like to see it.

But the issue isn't that the tags can work. It's all the rest of the points made, which in summary is treating customers like shit.
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2013, 07:04:39 pm »
http://cybergibbons.com/category/reviews/sticknfind/

They still haven't sent you replacements? Instead they just blocked you from everywhere? :palm:
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2013, 07:14:50 pm »
They blocked me very early on, pretty much as soon as I sent them a summary of the survey responses.  Several others as well.

Not really sure why as the Facebook page still looks awful, and blocking twitter is totally pointless.



 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2013, 05:16:26 pm »
Hmm, so today there is a big StickNFind press release and over the last few days it seems like there have been many more customers posting about being very happy... someone has also said that they are moderating all new posts onto the Facebook page.
 

Offline Alterego

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2013, 02:41:12 pm »
Hi Everyone.

Like a lot of people, I find it quite confusing that unhappy customers like cybergibbons are all furious and have valid reasons and justified empirical evidence for it. However there still are a few positive reviews about the product too, to be working as advertised. Maybe the are now improving in the production deficiencies in the latest manufactured batches, however a recent buyer's review on Amazon.com (during June-2013) doesn't says so.

Now SnF have also released their SDK a day or two ago, dont know what sort of improvement to expect now and in what time frame, will anyone ever be interested to work on it or not.

Reading all this , I have decided to wait and see if SnF can improve on their hardware malfunctions and satisfy existing early clients, plus at the same time lets see if any software improvements can make it better. I do love the idea and surely would want a couple for myself.

There still are a couple of other similar products available but mostly are mainly for iOS platform. A similar project on Indiegogo ended two days ago with quite some funding. They apparently have the same kinda promises, however fall short of SnF due to the fact that they dont have a blinking LED on the tag itself, which can be quite useful in low light situations.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/button-trackr-find-lost-items

Lets see who wins with a better product design, customer satisfaction and enhanced software utility.

If anyone has a better idea to suggest then I would be more than happy to listen.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #47 on: July 01, 2013, 05:28:46 am »
The people behind trackr sent me another tag which worked much better than StickNFind. Range still wasn't as good as I would have liked, but it was consistent and usable.
 

Offline Alterego

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #48 on: July 01, 2013, 12:38:54 pm »
The people behind trackr sent me another tag which worked much better than StickNFind. Range still wasn't as good as I would have liked, but it was consistent and usable.

Thats good to know. Could you please share the information about the Button Tackr as follows :

1. Does trackr has a LED light.
2. Does trackr has a buzzer alarm.
3. Does trackr has motion vibration.
4. How feature rich is the Android software for trackr.

Guess they would start shipping in August, I have already suggested to the project runners some of the queries I have, hopefully if they are able to embed them in the commercial batches produced.

Thanks for your responses.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2013, 07:48:48 am »
I don't know about trackr. The Audiovox insite I got sent (for free) were better than StickNFind by a long way:
http://cybergibbons.com/uncategorized/a-review-of-audiovox-insite-ble-tracking-tags-a-competitor-to-sticknfind/

They had a light, a buzzer, I don't think they detected motion. The app had less functionality but it all worked - importantly it didn't bother with the pointless range concept.

The big difference was response time (instant, always) and range (all over my house, and 95% of the time a usable distance).

I tested the latest IOS and Android software yesterday. Only 1 of my tags is working, took about 5-10 minutes for it to pair the first time after multiple attempts. Range is still only 10-20ft most of the time, and they still take 30s-5m to respond.
 

Offline Alterego

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #50 on: July 02, 2013, 07:44:46 pm »
Thanks for the response and reviews. Since you have been so much in touch with similar BLE tags and devices for tracking and location, I would request you to please do a comparative review of all leading similar devices especially with android compatibility, whenever it is easily possible for you.

Would be of great help to the community in general and people like me who are searching for the best bang for the buck.

Thanks

Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
 

Offline Alterego

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2013, 03:32:15 pm »
So I was able to a little reading on various types of card thin and coin like BLE tags available from various companies.

Personally i conclude that design-wise sticknfind is a good idea, only if implemented and executed properly. In almost all of the other commercial or crowd funded products I have "till now" , there was either buzzer or LED light and not the combination of two, or either they were meant specifically for iOS and not compatible with Android.

If the customer gripes are heard the Android app and the build quality of the product is improved then I may think of getting them. One thing not seen in any of them including sticknfind is a vibration alert (like you have in cell phones when they are silent). The vibration alert is also a neat thing to add, to give the user haptic feedback in case light or buzzing sound is not wanted at any particular occasion. It is even present in a discontinued Jabra Bluetooth Headset BT5020, which is still my favorite and I own two of them and always am on the lookout for more. The headset vibrates in case the user is unable to respond to the calls when the mobile is silent.

I can understand that there maybe technical and design challenges to add vibration alert to such BLE tags, however it can be an idea for future implementation.

Would be nice if cybergibbons updates his reviews and critical analysis of Sticknfind to a ppint when it becomes bearable and usable, there still are contradicting reviews of this product on Amazon (dont know whether it is paid biased feedback or not).

Any further suggestions and discussion is always welcome to add to the collective knowledge of everyone reading this thread.
 

Offline bluskyline21

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2013, 08:12:30 pm »
I don't understand why there are people here criticizing others for disliking Sticknfind. We're all entitled to our opinions and no one is more valuable than the other. If SnF works great for you, then awesome! You are a very small percentage of backers that have found success with the product. I, like so many others, have not had success with SnF and it's irritating. I received mine in March, I believe, and they still don't work with my phone, which IS BLE-compatible. We all have our reasons for disliking the product and the company and it isn't anyone's job to bash others for it. There doesn't have to be an "agenda" just because someone speaks their truth. The company has misled thousands of users with vague advertising and people are upset. Get over it.
 

Offline cybergibbons

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2013, 08:44:43 am »
So, finally StickNFind responded on Indiegogo and agreed to replace the stickers I have. It's very frustrating that they shut down all communication before.

Since the last update, the following appears to have happpened:
* If you update to iOS 7 without installing the latest StickNFind app and connecting to the stickers in iOS 6, you lost communication with the stickers. There is some secret way of fixing it that isn't published (the "magic sticker" mentioned below?). This was communicate to the users the day after iOS 7 was released.
* Android BLE still isn't working - there are bugs. The communication from StickNFind is quite aggressive about this - they just seem to want to pin the blame on Google and not keep customers informed.
* Communication, on the whole, is still very very bad.

I’ve had my replacement stickers for about 10 days now and have the following to report:

* 3 out of 4 would pair with my iPhone 5 running iOS 7.
* The remaining one wouldn't pair with a Samsung S4 or an iPad 3 running iOS6. Support is sending me a “magic sticker” to fix it.
* The new stickers have a stamped FCC ID on the case.
* The battery contacts are different – the centre one is sprung instead of just being a solder dot.

As for use:

* The three working stickers are more responsive than the old ones. They take ~30s to respond and seem to reliably respond. The old ones sometimes took 30s, sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes never.
* The range is still low. I can’t really leave a sticker downstairs and go upstairs without losing signal.
* When in leash mode, I get random activations even with the devices within a few feet.
* One of the tags seems to randomly go off without being on leash mode.

So in summary:

* It’s odd that one sticker was sent being incompatible with iOS 7 and needs fixing. (honestly, I am dubious – why wouldn’t it work with iOS 6 or Android if this was the case?)
* Why are these “magic stickers” not mentioned anywhere on the support pages?
* Responsiveness is improved
* Reliability is improved
* Range still seems poor

I couldn't recommend buying them still.
 

Offline Legit-Design

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2013, 09:27:53 pm »
So, finally StickNFind responded on Indiegogo and agreed to replace the stickers I have. It's very frustrating that they shut down all communication before.

I couldn't recommend buying them still.
Average business doesn’t hear from 96% of unhappy customers.
For every one complaint received, there are 24 people with unvoiced problems, six of which are serious.
Seems quite plausible this is the case.
In addition to those numbers, I wonder how many customers will just sit silent after they have been shut down many times and refused replacements. Too bad for them you decided to make some noise about it.
 

Offline notzippy

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Re: StickNFind Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tracking tags
« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2013, 06:39:21 pm »
I got a set of replacement stickers some time ago as well - they are currently still in the boxes as I am still waiting for an android device to work with them. I tested the original set against a friends iPhone and they never paired with that device. I even went as far as getting a USB BTLE device and I could actually detect the buttons on that device so it has to be a communication issue. Anyways I am sure there are a bunch of android users who have never even tried the things yet

It is all pretty depressing, (but not as bad as the iControlpad2)

nz
 


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