Crowdsourcing location-tracking device Leash enters beta phase

Local Bluetooth-tracking startup Leash is entering its beta product testing phase. The company has 1 000 units ready for rollout with an additional 15 000 being released after receiving adequate user feedback.

Founded by Mark Allewell — founder of numerous startups such as Tourism Radio — he got the idea from 2014’s Internet of Things expansion. According to Allewell, the Leash concept has already been proven internationally.

Leash’s functionality enables the users to keep track of the whereabouts of their possessions. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the device pairs with an Android or iOS device via low-powered Bluetooth and then tracks the item’s location. If the item becomes lost or goes missing, Leash will use other Leash devices in the area to locate the item’s last known location. Think of it as crowdsourcing location information for tracking.

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Leash will also gather and send back anonymous location data, which will benefit the community as a whole. “We’ll warn users when they visit a high loss area, for example, so they’ll know to keep an eye on their handbag a little bit more than usual,” says Allewell.

We live in a connected world. Not only are we talking to one another, but our devices talk to one another as well. You can use Leash, for example, to let you know when the device leaves a certain location; pop one in your wife’s handbag while you’re at a restaurant. If the bag moves, you’ll instantly be alerted.

The example does raise questions about using the device for nefarious purposes, such as tracking an individual’s movement. Leash hasn’t stated how this will be counteracted and it remains to be seen.

The product has the potential for others to market it with their own branding. Companies such as car manufacturers and insurance companies could implement it as a lower-cost tracking system for their products and services.

The company is currently looking for beta testers and those interested can sign up through the Leash website.



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