F-Secure launches F-Secure Buddy to help people find what matters the most – keys, wallets, phones, laptop cases and loved ones. We got sent one of these tiny smart devices and put it to the test.
F-Secure have teamed up with BiiSafe to release F-Secure Buddy. The ‘Buddy’ is a mobile phone accessory that can help people track and locate things, such as keys, phones, people or basically anything the Buddy can attach to. The Buddy can be paired with mobile devices, to monitor what the Buddy is doing.
The item comes in a DVD size, cardboard box and includes the Buddy, one spare battery and a battery removal tool. It’s well packaged, it’s got instructions inside and makes a refreshing change from plastic. Out of the box, the F-Secure Buddy is a very small, well-built, coin shaped keyring. It measures a mere 4cm in diameter, with a body housing the battery and a button, with a chrome ring around it. There are linear slots either side to allow for key chain adaptation. It’s relatively light, feels well-built and looks to be very durable. You wouldn’t notice it on a keyring or within a bag and it shouldnt get damaged very easily.
Setting up the Buddy was very simple and instructions are given. Firstly you have to visit your app store and download the BiiSafe app. Once you have signed up using your email address, which does need free verification, you will be given on-screen instructions. Ensuring your Bluetooth is switched on on your device, put the Buddy and device next to each other, hold the button down on the Buddy and wait for a connection. It was very simple and connected instantly. I should also mention there are lights that flash to indicate different instances.
There are a number of features to talk about but fundamentally, within the app, you can locate your Buddy. There are a number of settings that can change and ‘Circles’ that can be made. A circle is a message based system that allows you to share your location and chat to friends. If you and your friends each had a Buddy with your keys, you could easily locate each other on a busy night out using the app.
I tested the Buddy in a variety of ways and had very positive results every time. I left it at home while I drove to the coast, I put it on my cats collar and watched her explore, I also gave it to my daughter who gladly hid it for me to find. It works as it should. It locates your Buddy within seconds and identifies its rough location and when within proximity, you can sound its alarm.
When you get close to the location of your Buddy, you can ask to ‘find Buddy’ and the Buddy starts to sound an alarm, allowing you to home-in on your Buddy. Volume and sounds can be changed. You can also have up to five different Buddies under one account and can be controlled at once. You can assign different symbols to each Buddy so you can easily distinguish between them.
Note it has a battery and needs to manually be turned off to save life. To turn the Buddy on, simply press the button. Within the Buddy info, it shows the battery life and temperature of where the buddy is, which is a pretty neat feature.
The Android app can even monitor physical activity, such as the number of steps taken or distance traveled.
Overall this is a very useful and exciting product. If you lose your keys, or in my case my memory stick often, this really does solve a problem and helps you find your lost items.