Key Finders, a.k.a. as electronic finders or key locators are small digital devices that are used to find lost, stolen or misplaced keys. Their main objective is to save time spent in finding keys or other items while staying unobtrusive. There are some key finders that also beep when required.

Uses of Key Finders

Typical user experience

Typical use is to have key locator attached to keys, and if such keys are misplaced or lost, an action is taken to start the search functionally like pressing a button on device or clapping. Latest technology devices can;

1.    Flash a light

2.    Guide users towards lost items

3.    Create a sound like a tone or a beep

Key finders or locators are also used for people who are visually challenged, with associated memory issues like Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD or issues paying attention. Its uses also include Military veterans who are suffering from PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. Key finders can also be placed on the collars of pets to keep track of them.

From its invention, key finders passed through 3 generations.

1st Generation

They were soundly based. They were listened for whistle or clap, then beeped for a user to locate them. Determining the purpose of whistle or clap was difficult, leading in a false alarm or poor performances, lack of reliability and low quality, this early generation of key locators were discarded and become unpopular.

2nd Generation

The issue of false alarm was eliminated in this 2nd generation, and some of them have quite a long battery time. As electronic technology became cheaper and smaller, radio became feasible to locate electronic items that were attached with a smaller receiver. The receivers were activated through a unconnected transmitter. Mostly all wireless key finders need to listen for finding a transmission, resulting in the replacement of battery at some intervals ranging from three to twelve months. Some suppliers offer key-return services at an affordable cost which helps in returning the keys lost in buses, taxis and other public places.

3rd Generation

In 3rd generation key locators no longer need a separate base. These key finders were all functionally similar and work on peer to peer system. In such system all the units can find all others individually. For instance, an individual can make use of a wallet to locate a lost key or vice versa, or a cell phone to locate misplaced TV remote or glasses.

Additionally, as each of the unit comes with its own transmitter, they can answer by radio, flashing a light and beeping in order to get noticed. The subject can then track this guideline to locate even a buried key. Placing a transmitter in every unit also implicates that, unlike 2nd generation key finders, losing a single transmitter doesn’t result in a complete loss.


Today’s life needs most houses, offices, and cars to be accessed through keys. Cost, inconveniences, and stress of dislocating keys in such life is high. Key finders or key locators or electronic finders are useful ways to alleviate such effects.

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