When was the last time you put down your keys, and promptly forgot their location? How about your wallet? Your laptop? Well, the age old problem of misplacing your essentials is about to be solved. The Tile is a matchbook sized bluetooth device, which can be attached to your laptop, keys, wallet, even your bike, and works in conjunction with an iOS application to allow you to find your misplaced items. If your item is within earshot, it can be found by activating the Tile’s inbuilt speaker which will sound an alert when triggered. The application also has a radar-like function, which uses the strength of the bluetooth connection as an indicator of how close you are to the device as you search. The Tile also allows for the tracking stolen of items; if an item is tagged as ‘lost’ within the app, it will be automatically detected by other Tile users devices. If your device is detected within up to 150 ft of another user, you will be notified of its GPS location through the application. Although this feature may not be particularly useful in the products early days, the more users the application has, the more productive it will be.
One Tile costs around $20AUD, and the battery life lasts for around a year, meaning the Tiles will need to be replaced relatively frequently – a clever way to encourage a ‘subscription’ of sorts. Up to 10 Tiles can be active on a single account, which allows for the easy of tracking of multiple devices.
The Tile runs on Bluetooth 4.0, meaning that as yet it is unavailable on Android, and the device currently only responds to an application run on Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad. Though undoubtedly a handy device, the Tile’s success will come down to whether it gains enough users to provide a network of devices capable of detecting stolen devices.