Travel Tech: Find What’s Lost with Tile

January 17, 2014 by

tilePeople tired of misplacing items while traveling will soon have an answer.

Tile, a new company scheduled to debut product this winter, is being marketed as “the world’s largest lost and found.”

Here’s how it works: You buy a tile—a small, thin piece of plastic that self-adheres onto or slips into virtually anything (laptops, bikes, purses, you name it). The tile then uses your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to act as a wireless homing device. (Unfortunately, Tile does not currently work on Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry.)

When looking for an item outfitted with a tile, you only need to open the Tile app on your Apple device and walk around to find it. The app will notify you when you are within 150-feet of the tiled item, and will guide you to it.

Tiles also come with a built-in speaker that will emit a noise so you can easily find items at close range. There are no batteries to replace or charge, but tiles must be replaced each year (the company reminds you when it’s time to renew and even sends an envelope for you to recycle the old ones in).

For items that stray farther than 150-feet, Tile employs the power of their network, pinpointing the location of an item if any other Tile user’s phone gets within range, and then forwards on that information to you.

While the Tile isn’t being marketed specifically to travelers, we can see tons of useful applications, like keeping tabs on your hotel room keys, rental car keys, passport, laptop and luggage. We’re just hoping that Tile expands their network by becoming available to non-Apple users in the near future.

Tiles sell for $18.95 each and are available in limited quantities.

photo credit: Tile

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