Tile: the ultimate solution for people that constantly lose things
Do you constantly misplace or always lose things? Then Tile might be your ultimate solution. Tile is a small (37mm x 37mm x 5.3mm) hardware device, which can be attached to items you may misplace or lose. It makes use of a Bluetooth 4.0 connection that communicates with the Tile application that is, until this moment, only availablefor iOS devices.
The Tile application shows you where your Tile is currently located or, if outside a 50-150ft range, was last seen. The application lets you know if you are getting closer or further away from the Tile. The Tile itself also has a built-in speaker, which makes a sound if you are getting closer. The range that the Tile reaches does not seem that large especially when you left your phone or wallet in, for example, a restaurant. Here is where the community comes in play. Other Tile users can help you locate your Tile by sending an anonymous update of your Tile’s location. Obviously this service will not be that effective when the application is first launched, but as usage of the app grows, the more effective the network will be in finding your lost item. Although this might seem very handy, it could also be dangerous as other people can see where you left your phone or wallet, or can trace you as you have you wallet inside your pocket. The company insist that it takes your security seriously, as other Tile users cannot search for your Tiles and only you and the Tile users you’ve explicitly shared your Tiles with can search for your Tiles.
A single Tile can be pre-ordered for $20 dollars. If you buy three Tiles you will get one for free. Shipping is free for the US and for shipping to the Netherlands you pay a fixed $14 dollars, which makes it quite expensive if you just buy one Tile. In addition, orders placed today will ship November 2014.
A Tile works for one year before the battery runs out and the user must replace it. With it I mean the whole Tile, as the battery is not rechargeable. The fact that a Tile has quite a long lifetime without recharging might seem positive, but it is not that environmental friendly. The company tries to mitigate this image by sending an empty envelope, when consumers are repurchasing the Tile, in which they can put the empty Tiles and send them back to the company for recycling.
What about Android phones?
Until this moment Tile is only available for iOS devices. However Tile is working on their first Android version for over a month and is actively hiring more Android engineers. The first Android phone Tile will support is the Samsung Galaxy S5: “We chose to start with the Galaxy S5 because it is the most widely used phone worldwide that supports Bluetooth Low Energy (4.0), a requirement for Tile. Once we launch on the Galaxy S5, we will quickly follow with versions for the other top Android phones.”
At the moment there are several alternatives for Tile. One of its most interesting competitors is Duet. Duet has a current price of $19 dollar and makes use of the same technology as Tile. It also has an upcoming community searching function, but next to that differentiates with its colours and replaceable battery. Although it might seem that Duet is a better alternative for Tile, the app and the Duet’s functionality still need some improvement to outperform Tile.
Would you use Tile? Do you think Tile is the future or wouldn’t you pay $20 to always know where you left your wallet?
Post your comments below!