For most of us, vaction time means travel time and carrying headsets to relax, listen to music, and enjoy movies or podcasts. Those headsets have become wireless, smaller in many cases, and earbuds now represent a visibly growing segment turned mainstream thanks to Apple AirPods.
Problem is, smaller also means more prone to forget and lose, and the volume of orphan headsets has probably exploded over the past 2 years ; I already lost two sets of AirPods and am sure that lots of readers of this post had similar experiences. As we have very sensitive and frequent interactions of these little device, their loss is immediately felt as an intimate and irritative experience. Not mentioning the shame of giving out to a stranger a valuable piece of Apple Gear. And the cost to renew it.
How much does a gram of AirPod cost ?
The smaller, the easiest to lose. And also the priciest per gram lost.
At above $4/g one can consider AirPods price density as fairly high : for the record, it is not that far from the iPhone’s average price density, in the same ballpark than the Apple micro USB to Lightning adapter, or Canadian weed, while still 1/10th of gold or silver.
I am however on my way to retrieve the second lost pair, which takes my retrieval rate from 0% to 50% !
Increasing retrieval rate is as important as preventing an inevitable loss
Some very smart answers have been given to the « How to find my lost AirPods » excruciating question: what about the reverse one : « How can lost AirPods find me back ?«
Increasing such outcome’s probability from near zero to above 50% can be achieved with one very simple and smart trick : just rename them in such a way that their new name indicates not who you are but how to reach you.
Chances are they will be found by a benevolent person, who won’t be able to help in anyway if your AirPods are just named “AirPods” or “These are Mary’s Nice AirPods”…
It is the Bluetooth Settings, stupid !
All you need to do is to tap on the name (which is the default one or the fancy custom one you had chosen) and add your social profile handle and / or an email address or a phone number.
I do not recommend prepending anything with « if found please reach me at… » as you want to display the retrieval protocol in an obvious and self explanatory manner.
And while you are at it, why not batch rename any other devices you would like to retrieve if you happen to lose them too ?
The above AirPods example actually works for any Bluetooth device that can be renamed, so most wireless headsets are therefore good candidates for a mass renaming campaign.
Such list may further be extended to anything that you don’t want to stay too far away from where you are, and would be desperate to retrieve should this happen against your will.
- wireless headsets
- USB keys
- Drones (remember those things sometimes fall and need then help for RTH)
- Any other idea ?
Please don’t hesitate to share your experience or advice in the comments. Once you have renamed your AirPods of course …