05 January 2021
Tile, a consumer electronics company that has been developing Bluetooth-enabled object tracking devices is now leveraging the power of UWB (ultra-wideband) technology. The report is coming from Techcrunch that has learned the upcoming Tile tracker will also take advantage of UWB so as to offer you the precise location of your misplaced items.
According to the report, the new Tile tracker will also use augmented reality to help guide users to the lost item’s location as well. Well, the idea sounds similar to the rumored features of Apple’s AirTags. It is long-rumored that Apple has been working in this area and may launch AirTags powered by UWB and AR tech soon this year. Furthermore, Samsung is also rumored to be working on its edition of object tracking device called the SmartTag, though it is unknown if the device is also leveraging UWB. Samsung already uses UWB in a couple of its phones and it has also integrated UWB into a new SmartThings Find application. So, it only makes sense to put this tech into its tracking device as well.
Like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the UWB is also a low-energy, short-range wireless communication protocol but it operates at very high frequencies. This allows for better directional capabilities and more accurate spatial awareness. The new tracker will be able to track lost items outside as well inside. It goes a step further than the company’s existing Bluetooth trackers in tracking your lost items. It can track even if you are multiple rooms away and let you find your lost items through walls, even when you can’t hear the tracker’s ring. As Techcrunch points out, it can help even if the missing item is buried somewhere like under a sofa cushion or dresser drawer.
The tech publication even managed to obtain an internal concept art of this new Tile device. The sketch shows the UWB model will look similar to other small trackers, like the Tile Mate and Tile Pro. It will feature a square shape, a center button, and a flat back. And, just like the existing Tile’s object trackers, the new one will allow you to attach it to a keychain as well.
As per the concept, the companion Tile app will allow users to launch an AR-enabled camera view that will help you guide them to the item’s location using directional arrows and an AR view of the item’s location.
The tech publication cites its sources and shares that Tile expects to release this new UWB-powered tracker later this year. It will also include support for both iOS and Android devices. Pricing is currently unknown.
As per the report, Tile will continue to sell its popular Bluetooth-enabled devices as not everyone owns a UWB-enabled phone at this time. The support is only available on select phones. Apple introduced it on iPhone 11 and above models. Samsung also released the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as the first Android smartphone that uses UWB tech last year in August. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable phone has this tech as well. Samsung uses it in Nearby Share for increased precision while sharing stuff with other compatible phones.