Tracking your valuables has never been easier thanks to a wide array of products that recently entered the market by way of Kickstarter and Indiegogo. One such product to reach popularity was Indiegogo’s Sticknfind Sticker. They’re no bigger than a quarter, can easily be stuck on just about anything, and located using a smartphone running the company’s app.
Tile is really no different. In fact, they’re larger and cost about the same amount. Instead of adhereing to the back of something, they hook on, making the Tile ideal for keys, a purse, or really anything that can loop through its opening (update: an adhesive is included for sticking it to stuff). And much like Sticknfind, Tile works with an app that displays a proximity sensor to help you locate your missing item. It can also emit an audible tone once you exhaust the aforementioned option.
What makes the Tile unique are a few things. First, you can share a Tile’s location with whomever you choose. So you could ostensibly hide/share a set of keys and then let a friend or family member find them. The Tile app will also remember that last place that it has been seen, which in theory should make searching for the item much easier, especially if the signal isn’t in reach. But all of these unique features pale in comparison to the Tile’s crowd sourced security feature.
If an item is stolen, with a Tile attached to it, you can flip a switch in the app which effectively puts out an APB for your lost item. This in turn causes all other Tile app users smartphone’s to passively, and automatically search for your lost item. If an item is located an alert is sent to the owner to help them track it down. Of course this assumes that the thief didn’t remove the Tile.
Unfortunately, Tile is only iOS compatible and it’s limited to iPhone 4s or later devices (iPad Mini, iPhone 5 – you need Bluetooth 4.0). The battery on the Tile is said to last for one year – it’s not user replaceable so you’ll just “throw it away”, but with that caveat comes a waterproof design.
The Tile is self funded project that has already amassed $500,000. It ships this Winter at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014. You can get one for $19.