If you are one of those forgetful ones who constantly misplaces things (or people) around, then you should Tile it. It’s simple, efficient and will help you find that lost item, wherever in the world it may be — unless the guy who found it likes it better.
Well, jokes aside, we are all humans and tend to be forgetful many-a-times — thanks to our stressful career and busy schedules each day. Forgetting your wallet to your car keys back at home is just as usual, but what if you misplaced it when you were outdoors? Or worse — when travelling out of your city, or country? Or even worse — what if lose your kids around the mall? Tile to the rescue.
What is Tile?
Tile is a California-based company that promises to help you find anything — provided you Tiled it. The Tile is a simple Bluetooth-enabled square device that’s just 3.5cm wide, 0.6cm thick and 9g light. With a hole in the side and a large button in the centre, this plasticky tile-shaped Tile Mate has a Bluetooth BLE-based circuit within that latches on to your smartphone wirelessly using a simple app. The Tile Mate has a tiny, coin-sized, 3V battery that lasts around a year (unless you are fiddling too much with it) and the battery is replaceable at a marginal cost. Once procured, you can download the app, pair it, and all you need to do is attach it to your possession that needs to be tracked. Hook it to your keychain or hang it on your smartphone, slip it in your wallet or simply throw it in your backpack — the Tile Mate will help keep it safe. And yes — Tile is also waterproof with an IP68 water-resistance of up to 1.5m underwater. So don’t worry if Max is chasing your neighbour’s cat in the rain.
What does the Tile do?
Pairing the Tile Mate is simple — pull out the Tile App, create/login in with an ID and pair the Tile Mate with it. The Tile Mate will then start sending out a silent wireless (Bluetooth) beacon to your smartphone every ‘X’ seconds to notify the app about its presence in the vicinity — usually 30m or 100ft. Once the Tile Mate goes out of this fence (area), your Tile app will inform you about your missing item. You can purchase and add multiple Tile Mates to the same app and Tile every item you have — from keys and phones to laptops and bag or your pets, kids, or even your grandmother. Never lose your loved ones too!
How does the Tile work?
Well, the Tile Mate is not just a simple BT-enabled device that beeps when it goes out of range. It works along with an app that’s clubbed with a GPS location marker. Additionally, the app is also online with a community — of Tile users, that is. When you purchase a Tile, you become part of a community of Tile users who help you find lost items, wherever in the world it may be. So how does that work? Well, remember we told you earlier that the Tile Mate sends out a Bluetooth beacon every X seconds? Well, everyone who uses a Tile app can listen to that beacon around them.
Peep into your Tile app and you will find the number of Tile users in your area. Ours, in Mumbai, had more than 300 users using Tile, which was good enough to help us find our lost item. So when your Tile Mate loses contact with your smartphone, your app registers its location on the GPS of its last known location where it broke connection. Using that location, you can find your lost item on the map. However, admit it that the location of your lost item would remain the same provided that lost item is at your home, office or a known safe place. But what if you lose that item — say your keys — at an unknown place — say on the beach, or the street — and you know may never see it again. Well, unless that person who picked up the lost item is not a good fella, he would never return it. All he does is pull out that Tile tag and walk away with his prized findings.
But what if your lost item is untouched and lays where it was lost? That beacon it transmits is picked by a passerby who uses the Tile app. When you report your lost Tile, the app sends the information to all the Tile users’ app to report back on the lost Tile — each Tile has a unique identification number. When any app finds the lost Tile, it automatically sends its location (GPS) information back to your app, using which you can find your lost item. Works if your Tile’d cat plans to give you a chase around town — cool na?
And there’s another option too — if you share your Tile’s lost location to your friends and family, they can also install the Tile app (even though they don’t own a Tile) and help you locate the lost Tile.
And what if someone finds your lost Tile’d item and wants to return it? Well, no doubt your keys won’t have an address written on it. But that good samaritan can simply deposit that found lost item at the nearest Tile zone, where it will automatically be informed to the owner — you. So if your grandma stays put, or heads to the nearest Tile zone, you will be informed about her immediately.
What more can the Tile Mate do?
Well, the Tile Mate is not only good enough for finding something attached to it. Remember that large button in the Tile Mate we mentioned earlier? A simple double-press on that button can help you locate your smartphone too. So if you forgot your smartphone in the men’s room, that Tile on your keys can hunt for your ringing smartphone, even if your smartphone is on silent. Vice-versa, your smartphone Tile app can also help you hunt for your lost Tile’d keys/wallet/pet/kid/grandma by hunting it from the app. The Tile Mate will sound-off a loud musical tone to help you find it.
PSST: Here’s a pro tip — You can also find one smartphone/tablet using another smartphone/tablet if they both (all) are using the same Tile account, be it Android or iOS. Install Tile on your family phones and get yourself free ‘virtual’ Tile and find each other too.
You will be surprised — the Tile app is also compatible with third-party products that have Tile built-in to their core. For example, some headphones from Skullcandy, Bose, Sennheiser and Plantronics feature Tile compatibility where you can find them using the app. Other (certain) products such as power banks, wallets, keys and keychains from brands such as KeySmart, Herchel, Nomad, Fossil and Bianca are also Tile compatible. Make your ecosystem of unforgettable Tiles. Soon enough, you could also summon your smart speaker to scream out to you and help you find your lost keys.
Limitations of Tile?
There are a few shortfalls. Due to limitations and restrictions of each operating system (Android or iOS), the Tile app needs to be running in the background. If you shut or kill the app, the Tile will not be able to connect to your phone. You also need to keep your phone’s Bluetooth and location services left on. We also noticed that if you have multiple smartphones with your Tile app signed in, the Tile will only connect and respond to the last smartphone that connected to it. Other smartphones will not be able to locate the Tile. In short — Tile can only connect to one single smartphone at a time.
OK! Go on.....
Tile claims that there are more than 15 million Tile users around the world and till date, there are more than 4m Tile’d items found. Reports of a stolen motorcycle being tracked down by a Tile are also encouraging enough to own one yourself. Even San Jose airport has partnered with Tile to help owners find their lost items at the airport.
You may find it funny, but guess what more are people around the world Tile’ing — turtles, pigs and even drones — crazy, but intelligent people, eh?
The Tile comes with two subscription models — a free account with every Tile and a paid subscription (monthly/yearly) that gives you benefits such as:
Smart Alerts (Beta): Your app will alert you immediately if you walk out of the Tile range. Never lose it in the first place. So you can now Tile your kid, grandma or your pets too!
Free batteries every year for your Tile(s). No more hunting your local watchmaker for replacing batteries.
Location history: Get to know your Tile’s path for 30 days so you can trace back your steps easily and find your keys.
Unlimited sharing: Share your lost Tile’s location with friends and family (even if they are not a Tile user) and they can help you locate your Tiles.
Extended Warranty: Get three years of Tile replacements if something goes wrong with that 9g device.
Premium customer care: Access to an exclusive text helpline.
Tile Mate can be purchased as a single piece (₹2499), or a pack of four too (₹7999) and also available in Pro, Sport, Style and Slim variants soon on BrandEyes.in. Tile Premium service is available for ₹2200 per year.
So go on, Tile everything you have, or think you could lose easily.