We’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Apple AirTags for months now, and it’s rumored the launch might be coming soon. But Apple isn't the only company interested in selling tracking gadgets, as Tile is still very much in the game.
According to TechCrunch, which unearthed Tile concept art, the company is set to expand its current line-up of Bluetooth trackers with a tracker that uses the same ultra-wideband (UWB) tech as AirTags and Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy SmartTag trackers.
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Tile is obviously no stranger to the world of tracking your lost stuff, since it sells a wide range of Bluetooth trackers and has an extensive community of users to help locate missing items. But UWB has a number of advantages over ordinary Bluetooth, including the ability to transmit spatial and directional data.
If you’re developing a device that’s built to be tracked down, that’s an incredibly useful feature to have. And it seems Tile is adapting to the new tech to avoid being made obsolete by incoming competitors.
Internal concept art doesn’t suggest any massive design changes, with the new UWB tracker looking almost identical to the Tile Mate and Tile Pro. That design has been in use for several years now, and it’s clearly small and inconspicuous enough to stay out of the way until needed. And, unlike the AirTag designs we’ve seen, they have a built-in hole that can attach them to your keys.
But as an extra bonus, Tile is also working on an augmented reality feature in its app, to further help you track down your lost things. That includes directional arrows pointing you to the right area, and overlays detailing exactly where a missing item is.
The new UWB-based tracker is set to go on sale later this year for an unspecified price, though Tile’s range of Bluetooth trackers will still stay on sale. A lot of phones don’t support UWB at the moment, and it wouldn’t make sense to effectively block people for wanting something older and (presumably) cheaper.