We have all done it. As you go out the door you cannot find the keys, cannot find your wallet or countless items that you must have with you and cannot find in a rush, just to find it under the magazine or in the fridge some 20 minutes later. Tile is a little bit of simple tech that aims to help you find stuff. Well find your stuff mostly. It is almost here and I really hope this is the answer to me loosing things and wasting time searching for it.
The concept is very simple. You add a tile to items you misplace frequently or is valuable to you and you want to track. Tile will help you find it via an app on your iPhone whenever they play hide and seek with you. It uses Bluetooth 4 to find the tiles and homes in on them. It can then make a noise so you can find the tile easier. So what if the items are out of range? The app will show you where it last had contact with that tile on a map. Let’s just hope they use Google Maps. But what if it is stolen? Well you can mark the item as lost. As the Tile community grows everybody elses devices can search for your stuff and once located you are notified. A bit like big brother watching us I know, but in this case that could come in handy.
I intend to have one in my wallet and camera bag and have ordered mine month’s ago. The wallet simply since I have lost it so many times and had to order replacement cards. Costly and well frustrating especially if you find it the day after you cancel all your cards. The Camera bag is more of a precaution. I never let my gear out of my sight, but you never know. Currently I have an old iPhone in my bag and use the Apple Find my iPhone app to track the phone and thus the bag just in case it gets lost or misplaced. The problem is the airlines want that device turned off so if you travel you have to turn the phone off at check-in. That might be the flaw in my plan.
So all in all Tile seems like a pretty useful piece of tech that will enhance our lives. However there are some issues you should be aware of before you buy. Firstly your device needs to support Bluetooth 4.0. iPhone 4S and newer do , but although the newer Samsung’s have it listed in the technical specs it is a bit unclear if Android does. Maybe it is just a bit of wait to get the Droid army to join the Tile community. I suppose we will see what happens a little after launch date. Secondly, since they have no batteries you can replace yourself they will only last a year from date of activation. This might be a snag in the sales pitch,but then they are made waterproof.
Watch out for a follow up on this post. 🙂
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