Tiles for keys and soft contact lenses

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 6, 2014

I hope this column will be a place to share things that have made life easier for us and contribute to our overall sense of well-being. In fact, sharing these things may be of more practical benefit than musing philosophically about happiness.
In that spirit, I offer you this from Greg Shields of Salisbury. Greg is a very tech-savvy dude known by some of his friends as the Mac Daddy because he’s the go-to guy on all things Apple. The Mac Daddy has discovered a gadget that addresses something that used to cause him stress:
“As I have gotten older, I have developed a quirk, if you will. For reasons that I cannot glean, I have become paranoid about losing my keys. If I find a set missing, my heart literally starts to race and I cannot do anything else until I find them. I know it is a bit crazy, but I don’t know how to stop panicking when a set goes missing.
“So what about this makes me happy? The fact that technology has come to the rescue. A company has started producing a little gizmo called ‘Tile.’ Tiles are Bluetooth low-energy tags designed for attaching to valuable items so that these real-world objects — wallets, bikes suitcases, etc. — can be traced, using your iPhone, if they go missing. You can use your iPhone like a divining rod to find the Tile and you can even get the Tile to play a little sound as you are looking.
“Where it gets cool, though, is that if something to which you have attached a Tile goes truly missing, you can report the item as missing and then every Tile user’s smart phone starts looking for it. If they walk by it, you get a message showing where the item is located on a map.
“Each Tile is not expensive and lasts for a year. It makes me happy when an elegant, thoughtful solution is created by smart people. It makes me happier still when it addresses a real need that I have.”
As someone who has spent far too many hours searching for lost keys, I might need to look into this.
Of course I know that in the big scheme of things, it’s not things that give us real happiness. But when it comes to quality of life, things can mean a great deal.
No single thing has enhanced my own quality of life more than finding out at the age of 30 that I could replace my hard contact lenses with soft contact lenses and only rarely have to take them out. For someone with off-the-charts myopia, this meant a freedom I hadn’t ever experienced with the hard lenses I had worn since the age of 13.
Tile creators and contact lens designers, we salute you for making us happy!
What’s making you happy? Send me an email at salposthappy@gmail.com.