FinderCodes is a QR-code based lost and found system that can be used with just about anything to which you can attach a sticker. The folks at FinderCodes — which is now a brand partner with AT&T, as you’ll notice from the logo on the box in the photo above — were kind enough to provide Gear Diary with a sample kit, which contained stickers and tags of several different sizes, as well as a set of instructions. The tags also came with a couple of small rings, so they can be easily attached to a set of keys or a dog collar, for example.
What I liked about the stickers is that they are intended to be both tear-proof and waterproof, having been printed with vinyl stock and ink. This is great if you plan to put the sticker on the back of your phone, where your palm or fingers might come into contact with the sticker; with the vinyl printing, you won’t need to worry about the QR code wearing off easily.
So, how does it work?
1.) First, download the FinderCodes app from Google Play or the iTunes App Store. The FinderCodes app provides a good range of functions, from account access, to code entry for new tags, the ability to scan tags on found items, shop for additional tags and supplies, and help with the app and service.
2.) Create an account either through the app or online at www.findercodes.com
3.) Attach one of the stickers (or tags) to an item you would like to protect
4.) Register the alphanumeric code on the sticker or tag in your account on FinderCodes.com or using the app
5.) Try, try, try not the lose the item…
Sure, you don’t want to lose the item you’ve registered with FinderCodes; but if you do, you can have some peace of mind that if a Good Samaritan finds the item, they can easily determine that you’re the owner and contact you about returning it.
Finding an Item
So, what does the finder do when they encounter your errant valuable? Well, they scan the QR code or enter the associated alphanumeric code at FinderCodes.com, and they will be provided with directions for returning the item along with the ability to contact the owner.
Using the FinderCodes app, I scanned one of my own items, which resulted in me receiving a text message and an email notifying me that it had been found. From the perspective of also being the finder in this case, I received on-screen instructions about how to return the item.
FinderCodes offers a service they call “Re-Turnit” for which they provide shipping solutions for returning items. With Re-Turnit, the owner, once contacted by the finder, can set up pre-paid shipping to have the item returned to them, making it that much easier for the finder and perhaps even encouraging them to make the effort to return the item by eliminating the need to hassle with shipping details.
Additional Protection for iOS Devices
If you’re using an iPhone, the latest version of the iOS app also allows you to set a QR code as your wallpaper, so it adds even more protection than just using the sticker would. If you’re the type who likes to put your iPhone in a shell case of one type or another, you can still apply a sticker to the back of your iPhone, stick the phone in a case, but then feel comfortable that your phone is still protected because your wallpaper shows the FinderCode.
As they are associated with AT&T, one could have the impression that FinderCodes are just for gadgets, but with the inclusion of tags as well as stickers, they can be used for just about anything – luggage, briefcases, cameras, phones, tablets, computers, keys… and indeed, FinderCodes offers several different “kits” for different purposes, including kits for pets, home items, and travel.
Overall, it’s hard not to like FinderCodes. They provide a useful service; options for stickers, tags, and wallpapers; and a means for arranging shipping to make it easier to have your items returned to you. I like that the stickers provide some protection against sweat or other forms of moisture, so you don’t need to worry about them rubbing off easily. I’m not especially crazy about the orange coloring of the tags and stickers. I might prefer something a little more subtle, but as you do want someone finding your item to see the tag easily and quickly, orange probably isn’t a bad color for that.
FinderCodes are available at www.findercodes.com, Target, Office Depot, and FedEx Office.
What I like: Easy to use and set up; stickers are moisture resistant and come in different sizes
What needs improvement: It’s a minor point, but even the small stickers are somewhat large proportionately on small devices; additional colors might be appealing to some
MSRP: $24.99, with different kits available for Electronics, Home, Travel, School Stuff, and Pet Stuff. A Baby Things kit is noted to be coming soon.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample