Review: Zomm Electronic Leash

The ZOMM looks and feels like a cheap trinket you’d get at the third-rate gadget convention. But don’t let this first impression fool you. In a pinch, the ZOMM can save your cell and maybe your butt.

About the size of a prune (eww), the ZOMM attaches to a keychain or lanyard and pairs via Bluetooth to your phone. The idea: If you stray too far from the phone the ZOMM emits a high-pitched alarm or flashes its lights or vibrates indicating you’re about to leave your cell behind. Press the gigantic ‘Z’ button on the side of the ZOMM and the alarm will cease.

If that’s all the ZOMM did it certainly wouldn’t be worth 80 bucks. But the thing also moonlights as a fairly decent hands-free speakerphone. Considering the diminutive size of the device, the sound is surprisingly good at both ends of the conversation. While there is currently no volume control, an upcoming firmware update promises to add this.

The ZOMM can also act as a panic button if shit starts to get real. Say you’re about to be mugged. Hold the Z button down for 10 seconds and the alarm squeals. We’re not sure if a perp would find this aggravating (leading to an ass kicking), scary (leading to him running away), or hilarious (leading to a light ass kicking). The ZOMM will also dial 911 if you keep the button held down for additional 5 seconds. Can’t talk to the operator because your mouth is full of bloody Chiclets? The ZOMM also has a GPS that will pinpoint your location.

Initial activation, firmware updates, and programming the emergency call to a number other than 911 are all done via a small downloaded PC app. The lithium ion battery keeps the ZOMM going for about three days but has only enough power to last through, at best, 2 hours of talk time.

Still not bad for a gizmo that can potentially get you out of a jam and more importantly prevent your cellphone from being left behind. But one taxing question remains: If you use a ZOMM too much do you eventually become a ZOMM-bie?

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