Tile is a miniature tool that can be attached or dropped into any of your items to help you keep better track
Never lose track of your keys, your wallet, or even your bike again – that’s the premise of Tile, a Low Bluetooth Energy device that promises to find your lost stuff.
Last year, the device smashed its crowfunding goal of $20,000 to make $2.5 million from 50,000 backers. Beginning this summer, it has been making its way to backers worldwide.
Tile combines Low Bluetooth Energy with a smartphone app to ensure that a lost item is never truly lost. It works like this: you attach the Tile to a piece of property that tends to go missing – Tile seems specially suited as a key ring – and pair it to the Tile app on an iPhone (Android is “coming soon”). Once the devices are paired, Tile can be used whenever the item goes missing.
The app will always remember the last place it “saw” an item – i.e. the last time it made a connection to the item, with the idea that you can begin from that last place to search the radius nearby. Once you come into range of the missing item, around 150 ft, the app begins to indicate with a circle that you are getting closer. The circle – which is gray when you are out of range – has quadrants that turn green the closer you get to your lost item. When in range Tile also makes a sound, so you can listen to find your item. It is like a game of Hot or Cold with your smartphone.
But, perhaps the most interesting thing about the $25 device is that it also makes use of the Tile community. So, if you lost your wallet while out on the town, and ask the app to find it, it will use the knowledge of all the other Tile-enabled phones that have been near that particular device. The Community Find options means the likelihood of finding a lost item in the wider world becomes that much greater.
Of course, the community is only helpful if they have the Tile app constantly running in the background of their phone. While that may be a hard sell in a world of quick-draining iPhone batteries, the company encourages its users to be “a force for good.” If they do, Tile could be the best lost and found in the world. And if not, when it comes to being at home, at least you will always know where your keys are.