“Where’s the remote!”
“I’m just looking for the camera.”
“Did you find our…you fill in the blanks.
At the time of this writing, someone somewhere is running around trying to find something. Many people in many places. It’s a mundane problem but it deserves solving too: Your usual things are not where they usually are.
San Mateo-based Tile is a tracker company that has you covered. The company defines its products as “finders for all your keepers.” TechRadar‘s Olivia Tambini said you may know the name “from the company’s physical keychain-like trackers that attach to your personal possessions to keep from losing them.”
The news about them is that they have come out with more product types and longer ranges in accordance with their ambitions to shine as tracking kingpins. The devices are Bluetooth-enabled. CJ Prober, Tile CEO, said, “From wallets to remote controls, power tools to backpacks, our customers have shown us they want a Tile for everything.”
And Tile is ambitious about serving. Tile’s Chief Experience Officer, Simon Fleming-Wood, said in TechRadar that “BLE [Bluetooth Low Energy] integration will be huge for the company.” With an estimated 29 billion BLE-enabled devices to ship in the next five years, “all of those can be Tiles with a simple firmware update,” he said. Tile’s chip partnerships would allow them to offer “Tile technology at the chip level, which will help us scale these partnerships significantly.
Translation: “…you can expect to see Tile tracking built-in to more and more devices in the future, from headphones, to smartphones, to portable speakers; essentially, any gadget that houses a Bluetooth chip inside it,” wrote Tambini.
The new Tile Sticker is one example. It is Tile’s small adhesive-backed finder. Sticker has a 150 ft range, and has a three year battery life.
The company release said Sticker can be attached to most metal and plastic materials, including remote controls, cameras and outdoor gear.
(Jon Porter in The Verge weighed in with his assessment of how Sticker sticks: He liked the idea of a tracker designed to attach to anything, such as laptops, TV remotes, “but you have to have reasonable expectations of what the Tile Sticker can attach to. Although it’s small, it’s still a good quarter inch thick, and you might have to be prepared to get creative to get it to attach to your more oddly sized possessions.”)
Tile offers a device and a companion app. You click “Find” in the Tile app on your smartphone (ahem, assuming you found your smartphone because you always leaved it in a findable place), to make your Tile ring. Once you’re within the 100-foot Bluetooth range and your Tile connects, use the app to ring it to play a loud tune until you find it. Or you can, for example, say “Hey, Google, ask Tile to ring the remote.”
Even if you cannot find your phone, Tile has you covered. A video shows a man in his car with just that problem. He proceeds to double press on his Tile to make his phone ring.
But there is more. in addition to Sticker, they had news about their new form factor for Slim; and they talked up their expanded range for classics Pro and Mate. All in all, they are giving customers more choices in their line of tracking devices.
The changes are: (1) The Slim is now in the shape of a credit card, and its extended range is up to 200 feet with a battery life of three years. It can make a good fit for wallets, luggage tags and other hidden spots. The Tile Slim is also carrying a three-year battery life. Jon Porter in The Verge shared his experience with the new Slim, noting it was “about as thick as three credit cards, but I basically forgot I was carrying it around with me by the end of the week.” (2) Mate and Pro tags, which are square-shaped fobs, have been given extended ranges extended respectively to 200 and 400 feet.
The models carry varied prices: Tile Stickers are $39.99 for a 2-pack, $59.99 for a 4-pack; Tile Slim is $29.99; Tile Mate is at $24.99; and Tile Pro, at $34.99.