I’m sure these were around in the eighties, but if not they were certainly an early nineties gimmick. The Whistling Key Finder was supposed to be the answer to the prayers of anyone who was constantly losing their keys, and I guess to a certain extent it did do the job.
The Whistling Key Finder was a little plastic device with a key ring attachment. You put all your important keys on it, so that when you lost them all you had to do was whistle, and the little device would merrily beep away making it a bit easier for you to track down where in the house they could be.
I remember we got one for my Dad, just because they were all the rage at the time and because my sister and I wanted to play with it. My Dad was actually pretty good at remembering where his keys were, until the key finder gizmo came along and we kept playing hide and seek with them that is.
The device only suffered two problems. One was that the batteries tended to run out quite quickly (ours was a cheapo one off the market) and the other was that if the keys were buried under something (e.g. under a cushion on the sofa) the beeping sound was actually not all that easy to hear.
These little devices are still available today if you look hard enough, and they are getting more feature laden too. The simpler ones now often have flashing lights as well as the beeping, and if you are really bad at losing your keys then there are even ones that have GPS functionality!