The Zomm was created by a mom on a treadmill who was watching Oprah. She prayed for something to invent, and some higher power inspired her to make a Bluetooth “leash” that beeps extremely loudly if your phone is over 30 feet away. She didn’t stop there, though, adding speakerphone capability, a panic button, and an emergency button that automatically calls 911 like those “help, help, I fell down” necklaces. And no matter how fully featured and well-designed this device is, that Zomm mom should warn you that, like a pet, a Zomm is a lot of responsibility. For every one time the Zomm might save your phone from being misplaced or stolen, there will be hundreds of times you’ll have to return to your desk to grab your Zomm (which fits conveniently on key rings), deactivate something you accidentally activated, or tell the police that there’s no emergency, just a trigger-happy Zomm. Even so, after extensive testing, we can verify that it works as advertised--with several caveats.
It's advertised as "alarmingly smart," but we think "alarmingly loud" is closer to the truth.
The Zomm’s first problem is that the constant connection it requires means that your phone’s battery will die sooner than it already does. Once the battery is dead, the connection is (obviously) toast. And while the speakerphone feature actually works remarkably well and speaking into the little disk fulfilled a few Power Ranger fantasies, on multiple occasions we accidentally pushed the button, causing a variety of problems ranging from switching active calls to speakerphone to setting off ridiculously loud alarms. This thing is in dire need of a lock button.
Finally, the iPhone’s awesome Find My iPhone option (which requires a $99/year MobileMe subscription) is a better solution to the problem that Zomm tries to solve. However, the Zomm can connect to all Bluetooth-capable phones, so if you don’t own an iPhone, it might be a worthwhile option. Regardless of which phone we connected it to, our favorite way to use it wasn’t as a leash. While it’s far from the intended use, we hope Zack, Olivia, and Madison’s Mom (yes, that’s really what the acronym stands for) would take pride in the fact that we got an unsuspecting editor to scream like a sissy by activating the alarm after stashing it behind their computer.