Where's the remote? 5 best tracking devices to find lost items

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Mario Armstrong

If you’re someone who is routinely misplacing or losing things like the TV remote, your keys, wallet, or smartphone, I’ve got good news: there’s technology that can help!

Tile tracker
Tile is a small, square white device that connects to your iPhone to locate any item you attach it to. You can easily connect the Tile to a keychain or peel and stick it to almost anything else — a backpack, purse, or even a computer. If you misplace something, you can open up the app and get a map that will get you in the vicinity of the item. Then you can have the Tile beep, which will help you pinpoint it. There's also an image on your phone that will help indicate how close you are to the item. One thing to be aware of is the noise is a little low, so of the item is buried under clothes or under a sofa cushion, it'll be challenging to hear it. This is an incredibly new product, so you can pre-order Tile now but it won’t ship out until this fall.

Watch video: How to never lose your cellphone again with this tracker

Constantly digging around in the couch cushions trying to find the TV remote? You may want to check out a device called the Click-N-Dig. Unlike a lot of other trackers, something I really “dig” about this device is that you don’t have to have a smartphone to use it. Each Click-N-Dig set you buy comes with a small transmitter the size of a car’s key fob. To use it, just attach a small receiver to the back of the remote (or whatever you want to keep track of). When you press the corresponding color-coded button on the transmitter, the receiver will beep and flash, leading you to it. One downside to this device is that the beeping noise isn't as loud as I'd like.

Tagg Pet Tracker
If you’ve got a pet who may wander away or you just want peace of mind that you won't lose your dog, you might want to invest in the Tagg Pet Tracker. Equipped with a GPS tracking system that attaches to your pet’s collar, Tagg allows you to monitor their location with your computer or a smartphone. You can even create a Tagg zone, like the perimeter of your yard, where your pet is allowed to spend time. When your dog or cat leaves the zone you set up, you’ll automatically be alerted and Tagg will start tracking your pet’s location on the map.

GPS Tracking Freedom Wallet by Royce Leather
If you're constantly losing your wallet, then the GPS Tracking Freedom Wallet by Royce Leather may be good for you. It has a small device that fits into a slot in your wallet; you track that device on your phone via GPS. You can also send a beeping alert to it, but again, just like the other devices, the noise is a little low. It's just fine if your wallet is out in the open, but if it's under something it will be a little hard to hear. It also has the ability to protect your credit cards from being skimmed, which is great if you are worried about identity theft.

Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager
A lot of these trackers make good use of your smartphone, but what if it’s your iPhone or Android phone that you are constantly losing? In that case, you need to get an app called Find My iPhone or for Android, get Android Device Manager. They are both free apps that help you locate your missing phone via GPS. For example, when you lose track of your iPhone, you can use a computer or another Apple device to log into iCloud and click on the app. Apple will locate your phone on the map, and you can launch a loud beeping noise. If neither of these help you track down the phone, you can't send a message to be displayed on the iPhone’s screen like, “This phone is lost. If found please contact…”. Another feature I love is that if your phone has been stolen and you’re afraid someone might swipe sensitive information off of it, you can erase your iPhone remotely. For all my Android users out there, check out Android Device Manager, Google's app with a similar functionality. 

 Digital Lifestyle Expert™ Mario Armstrong is an Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Hashtagologist™ and Technology Contributor to TODAY. He hosts segments on HLN, the Fuse network and appears regularly on daytime TV including Steve Harvey and Dr. Oz. Read more from Mario at his blog and follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.