Suggestions for replacing the smartthings tracker?

I just got my notification that the smartthings tracker is being put down in October.

I use mine for geotracking my young son who has a profound intellectual disability. He can’t handle a cell phone, but I can attach the fob to his belt and see when he gets to and leaves school, and when he gets home. I can also see if he sneaks out the front door and wanders down the street.

What are some good alternatives to the tracker now that it’s about to go dark?

P.s. the galaxy tag is not an option because of the galaxy phone requirement.

Do you need it to work with SmartThings? Also do you have an iPhone or an Android phone or?

If you need it to work with SmartThings, would integration through IFTTT be enough, or is that too much lag?

If you have an Amazon echo device, are you going to turn on the Sidewalk feature?

As you can probably tell, there are now a number of devices in this category, but they all have slightly different features and costs and integration options. :thinking:

I got the same email for my AT&T version. Do you have the Verizon or AT&T version? I assume both are being axed but wanted to confirm.

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Excellent questions, thank you!

I would prefer integration with smartthings and/or Life360, but I am open to a standalone solution.

I’m ok with ifttt. I opted out of sidewalk way back when it was first in beta and don’t have the ability to opt back in, so that’s probably not an option.

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Mine is the att version, also. I didn’t know there was a verizon version.

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And type of phone?

I talked to a couple of friends with wanderers in the family and the consensus was that if you can afford it, Jiobit is a really good option, but it doesn’t integrate with anything else unless you have an android phone and can use Tasker to capture the notifications.

Also, one of my friends only wanted to use it when they were traveling, but the company doesn’t let you turn the monitoring contract on and off. If you cancel the service they disable the Sim card and they say there’s no way to turn it on again so you’ve lost the investment in the device itself.

He said that at one point when they checked into it they were told that they could put the monitoring contract on “pause“ for about three dollars A month, which seemed high to them.

Apparently in late 2019 early 2020 they came out with a new model which has better battery life and a new fee structure which is more transparent. So check the dates on any reviews.

Anyway, they’ve been around for a few years and you should be able to find lots of blog reviews of them. Again with the understanding that they do have a newer model and a newer pricing structure.

They have a nice comparison chart so you can compare it head to head with competitors, including the smartthings tracker:

And this is interesting… Life 360 just bought the Jiobit company a couple of months ago and intends to fold it into their service although it isn’t there yet.

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Apple AirTag is intriguing to me, using the Apple mesh to bypass other network fees. It is cheap to buy and use. It would depend on proximity to somebody else’s Iphone, and you would have to have an apple device (I think - any alternatives?). I’m trying one but it is not intuitive to me, using the apple “Find my” service. It’s not yet clear to me how to share access/ability to track people or objects (with their permission of course).

Everybody is coming out with these now, but obviously apple mesh is pretty built-out already.

In your position I would consider a couple different trackers.

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I use the AirTags now, but Apple executives have specifically said they should not be used for tracking kids or pets. They lack some features that the other trackers have.

The most obvious is, as you noted, that they depend on proximity to somebody‘s iPhone in order to work. If your kid takes off in a park or a wooded area, the AirTag probably won’t be much use.

Jiobit and some of the other kid trackers also have a “care team“ option which let you give tracking alerts to other people whether they have an android phone or an iPhone. That’s especially helpful for school teachers, grandparents, and other caregivers who might be watching a child for awhile. There’s nothing comparable for the AirTags right now.

And AirTags don’t give you an exact location until your phone is within range of the tag. Jiobit and other purposebuilt child trackers let you identify the exact location from anywhere, so you can alert teachers or first responders if multiple people are searching for a missing child.

Again, I have the AirTags and like them, they have some really cool features including the vertical space indicator which is great for when your keys fell on the floor and slid under the couch. :thinking: But they’re just a better match for a different use case than A wandering family member. The one where you yourself are searching for what is probably a stationary item and you are going to physically get close enough with your own iphone to find it.

Thanks for the link. The comparison chart was quite helpful.

For my needs, the jiobit is probably the best fit. It’s definitely the closest in function to the smart tracker, just more expensive and less discontinued.

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There are rumors that life 360 will be offering a discount on the Jiobit once they have their integration done, but who knows when that will be or if it will be enough to make a difference. When is the smartthings tracker being discontinued?

October 31st, according to their notification.

I won’t be making any moves until then, so we’ll see what they have to offer once my device goes dark.

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