FriendChip is a German company whose headquarters is located in Berlin. The company behind FriendChip wanted to make it easier for companies as well as for people to meet up, share their profile with others they come across with.
We have reached out to FriendChip to let us test their device. Fortunately, the company was happy to send a unit out our way. Note that this is not sponsored or a paid advertisement by any means. Our thoughts, views and opinions stay honest throughout the article and throughout the entire website, content we provide.
We review gadgets, products and services that we find beneficial to our readership.
We have seen similar devices popping up in the past. What makes it different is how easily and seamlessly makes it accessible to millions of people by using some already existing technology.
Before we get to the specifications and other details, let’s talk about the company.
FriendChip is a product of LogSpot German Company that develops technical solutions and business models for the digital world and the Internet of Things (IoT).
FriendChip is a small device that can share your profile to people who are near you. The device is powered by the Physical Web and is based on Eddystone beacons.
Unboxing the FriendChip Keychain is simple and straight forward. The package is made out of paper box and is easy to open.
Upon opening the little box, we’ll find some important and useful instructions along with a strong magnet.
Digging in a little deeper inside the box, we’ll find the standard MicroUSB cable that we can use to charge up the little device. This cable is used with popular smartphones too, so if you would happen to lose yours, you most probably have a backup at home.
Underneath the cable we find a FriendChip sticker and the keychain itself. It’s tiny so it can easily fit in your pockets and can be attached to your keychain.
Here’s how it works:
You walk into a café and pull out your phone to browse the web while taking in your much needed caffeine. You notice that you’ve received a notification up on entering the shop and notice that it’s a little FriendChip notification. The notification states the Café shop’s name and a very short information text saying that the shop may be open for longer for that day.
By opening up the notification, you’ll be taken to the Café shop’s public, FriendChip profile to read more. On that profile, the Café shop could decide to state the Opening times and an “About Us” section of the place. You could contact the owner and or visit their website, social media profiles.
That’s not all, for businesses like this Café shop, you could also write a public text to their wall so anyone in the future could see it. This could be a potential review of their coffee or their cakes.
The best thing about this is that it cannot only be used for businesses, but also for your own use, individuals. All of the options are the same for both businesses and people.
Here’s what it’s like in real use.
HARDWARE & DESIGN
The specifications include a small battery and Bluetooth, location sensors. What’s important to know is that the Bluetooth is very battery efficient and it should last you a good 3 months on a single charge – according to the company. We, and of course the company suggests a 1 month recharging time to keep it safe and sound for long use.
The hardware itself is very well built all around. It’s made out of plastic, sure, but the feel is just like a typical everyday product. Doesn’t feel very cheap, nor it feels premium. It’s important to keep in mind that this particular keychain wasn’t made for the “great feeling”, but rather the usefulness with great options that we are going to discover and show you in just a second.
It’s rounded circular shape sits well in pockets and bags, we did not experience it to stand out oddly by any bit.
In order to turn on the little Bluetooth Beacon, you will have to tap the device to the magnet that you have received in the box. There is a single LED that long-flashes once in Blue colour when it’s activated with the magnet. In case you want to turn it off, you’ll have to tap it to the magnet once again and wait for 3 flashes.
Let’s not forget about charging. To charge, you simply have to remove the rubber from the bottom of the device and plug in the MicroUSB cable that you’ve received in the box. It shouldn’t take very long to charge. We were unable to discharge ours unfortunately – we’ve put it on charge for half an hour and we have used it and played around with it with no issues.
It’s very easy to set up and get started.
Upon activating the beacon, you will be able to register your account and create your very own profile. In our case, we have focused on making a “Techusiast” profile that we could perhaps share with others around us. We’ve included our website, Facebook, YouTube channel, Twitter and Instagram profiles. This way, if someone finds our beacon nearby, they’ll be able to easily go to our social media profiles and website. They will also be able contact us via the FriendChip service.
Adding Social Media pages to your FriendChip profile is very simple. You are given a few options, the only thing you have to do is simply insert your Social Media URLs.
The currently supported “Links” you can add are: Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, XING URL, LinkedIn and your Shop Url. You can also add your phone number and additional images.
We have contacted the company and were happy to be informed that other Social Media ‘links’ will be available in the near future, they are currently working on adding them.
The Notification you receive will also show a small amount of customised text, as you can see above. You can change that text to anything you want by going in to the settings. (We have 2 notifications on our devices. One showing from FriendChip’s own applications and the other one is from Android’s built-in tool)
The little device is compatible with both IOS and Android devices thanks to the power of Bluetooth and the Physical Web.
The Physical Web and Eddystone allows the beacon to share and provide information to nearby devices and other beacons, all while keeping private information safe and secure.
The usage differs from person-to-person and from company-to-company. Some people may use it to share their important moments or make announcements to people who are near them, while companies might use it for marketing purposes or announcements such as discounts.
The company even lists a few useful uses such as:
- Equip your dog with one of these to get in touch with other pet owners or see when other pets (and their owners) are around.
- Make new friends by sharing your profile to people who are nearby you
- Use it for your business during exhibitions, congresses or team events. You can share your profile and introduce yourself in your own unique way.
- Promoting songs, artwork and other content on your FriendChip profile can allow other people to discover you and your social media profiles.
One thing we’ve found out is that you can’t notice any of these beacons if your Location (GPS) services is turned off. This is an unfortunate as there are a lot of people who do not leave either Bluetooth or GPS ON at all times, therefore they are being left out of the services FriendChip could offer them.
NOTE: It is required by the Eddystone format and by this beacon technology to have the Location (GPS) and Bluetooth services turned ON in order to communicate with nearby devices and work together seamlessly.
As a conclusion, we want to share our thoughts on what we like and dislike about this device.
What we like about the FriendChip:
- Very easy to use and set up
- Battery lasts for months on a single charge
- Easy to share and promote your page and/or your own profile
- Pocket friendly and takes up minimal space wherever you place it
- It offers some great features that you and others around you can take advantage of.
What we dislike about FriendChip:
- Other popular Social Media links are missing.
- Many people will leave their Bluetooth and/or Location services off, therefore sharing might not work with everyone.
- Finding beacons using an iPhone isn’t hard, but people might not always pay attention to it without receiving an actual notification. (Though this isn’t FriendChip’s fault, we thought that it’s worth mentioning it) – A dedicated application is coming to IOS later this summer, so that should clearly solve this issue. *Check our video review for more information.
- The Android App needs some optimisation, nothing that a future update can’t fix.
Overall, we are very impressed with this little device. It fulfilled all of our expectations and made sure that things like these are simply not useless, in fact very useful. We very much recommend this beacon and this technology for those who want to share and perhaps celebrate their very important moments with people who are around them, and companies and smaller businesses to offer and share their products and gather more people.
We are surely going to use this technology in the future, so if you ever happen to spot us in the wild, feel free to say Hello.
The FriendChip (keychain) and the FriendChip Wearable costs only €29,90 (or about ~$35, ~£27 at current exchange rates) which we find reasonable when you take the software and hardware development into consideration. For individuals, we recommend making sure you know who lives nearby you as buying this device could also earn you some stalkers and get you in trouble. Be aware of your surroundings and purchase accordingly.
Click on the image above to visit FriendChip’s website.
What are your thoughts about FriendChip? Would you be interested in purchasing one for yourself or perhaps for your business? Let us know in the comments down below!