We’re all for labeling our belongings to help them find their way back to us, but what if you could use a Bluetooth-enabled device to locate your high value items, like laptops or musical instruments–or maybe even your car?
The new Tile does exactly that. Download the Tile iOS app to your phone, register your Tile, and stick it to your laptop, attach it to your keyring, or drop it inside your guitar.
When you can’t find your keys ten minutes after you should have left for that appointment, use the app to “ring” your Tile. If it’s within Bluetooth range (50-150 feet), your Tile will sound an alert. You can also see whether you’re getting “warmer” (closer to your Tile) by looking at the signal strength on the app.
What if you can’t find your phone either, which means you can’t get to the app to locate your Tile? If you’ve given someone else, like your partner or your kids, permission to track your Tile, then they can help you find it. Alternatively, you can log into your Tile account via the Tile app on their phone.
Bu if your Tile is out of Bluetooth range, here’s where Tile gets really cool. When you mark your Tile as missing, a signal goes out to all the Tile apps in the network. If your Tile is within Bluetooth range of any Tile user, the app notifies you of the GPS location of your Tile.
It’s entirely secure: That other user has no idea she helped you, and nobody except you knows that your Tile was missing or where it was found. The larger the Tile network grows, the more easily users can locate their Tiles.
Unfortunately, Tile isn’t a deterrent to theft; if your Tile is removed from your belongings, then you’re out of luck. But for those of us who occasionally misplace items (or who have children that do the same), Tile could be a smart way to track them down. -Julie
Pre-order Tiles for Winter 2013/2014 delivery at $18.95 each. The app is currently for iOS only, due to Bluetooth compatibility requirements.