Seth’s Blog, Bluetooth and the annoying patent

Missing ChildrenSeth Godin proposes that someone would develop 2 credit card sizes devices that start yelping the moment they are seperated more than 30 feet so he never loses his cellphone again. From his blog:

“I don’t even want to wait to patent it and license it”

In 2003 I spent some time working on this concept but for kids. I wanted a similar tool which I could attach to my kids and then if they would be more than 30 feet away from me my bluetooth cellphone would make some noise.

I don’t like losing my phone but think about how you would feel if you would lose your kids for a moment. How much would you spend to prevent that?

The problem wasn’t the technology. In fact, I build a working prototype within a week myself. The problem was that there are a lot of people who patented the idea years ago, even before Bluetooth was invented. They didn’t actually build it but they DID patent it.

We spoke with some patent lawyers at the time and they told us we would simply be screwed if we got succesful with the idea. We eventually gave up altogether.

Here is a list of domainnames I found that were available at the time:,,,,,,,

Oh well…

UDPATE: Eyedropper (?) just sent me this link of an actual product that does this.


  1. So there is possibly no way to get this done because of the existing pattents. How did all those companies started doing business, I wonder?

  2. eyedropper

    There’s lots of products like this on the market

  3. Thanks Eyedropper. Changed the post to include that link…

  4. Great. Thanks for the sharing.

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